Lack of transparency in a multicurrency mortgage according to the Supreme Court

multicurrency mortgage


In hiring multicurrency mortgage loans, banks must provide their customers full and adequate pre-contractual information


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When consumers buy a complex financial product, such as the multicurrency mortgages, They should receive adequate pre-contractual information enabling them to ascertain the nature and risks of the product that hire.

The Supreme Court in its judgment of 17 July 2019 it has become to pronounce in favor of the consumer. a multi-currency mortgage was contracted in Japanese yen. The fluctuation of the currency made, past several years since the loan contract, the borrower euro was higher sum of which was granted in his day. The lack of pre-contractual information received by the consumer the damage occurred.

Fact background,,es,Juan Alberto and Paulina filed suit against FTA,,es,Asset Securitization Fund,,es,requesting the declaration of nullity for abusive of the floor and ceiling clauses contained in the novation contract of the mortgage loan of,,es,with the corresponding refund of amounts unduly collected,,es,The Securitization Fund Management Company,,es,Beech,,es,acting on behalf of FTA, he responded to said claim alleging that he lacked passive legitimacy since the entity had no legal personality and that it constituted only a private and open fund and that therefore the passive legitimization corresponded to BBVA as successor of Catalunya Banc that was the Company fund constituent,,es

The 20 March 2007, D. Jaime entered into a multicurrency mortgage loan with the bank La Caixa (CaixaBank currently S.A.). In writing it was stipulated that the borrower received 301.398,05 euros, equivalentes a 47.893.500 yenes japoneses.

In July 2012, although the borrower had amortized 136.498,87 euros, He owed 365.943,67 euros.

The 7 May 2013 D. Jaime filed suit against Caixabank. He requested the declaration of partial invalidity of the mortgage loan on terms of currency denomination. Also the statement that the amount due was stumps to reduce borrowed capital in euros in the amount already repaid, Euro. And, secondarily, contract review by application of rule matters stand.

Primera Instancia

The 6 May 2015 the Court of First Instance No. 15 of Madrid issued its judgment No 93/2015 dismissing the lawsuit filed by D. Jaime.

Provincial Court

Instance judgment against, the actor appealed.

The 6 April 2016 19th Section of the Provincial Court of Madrid dismissed the appeal, confirming the first instance judgment.

Supreme Court

The appellant filed an extraordinary appeal for procedural infringement and appeal against the judgment of the Provincial Court.

The 17 July 2019, the Civil Chamber of the Supreme Court delivered its judgment in No.. resolution 439/2019 estimating demand.

On appeal:

The resort was built around seven reasons.

He considered the Chamber, because of the connection between the infringement was from the joint resolution of the reasons first, second, sixth and seventh.

– The reason first spoke of "breach of the rules governing the reporting obligations of companies providing investment services (Arts. 79 and 79 bis de la Ley del Mercado de Valores) developed by Royal Decree 629/1993 (Arts. 4 and 5) before the transposition of Directive 2004/39 / EC and Royal Decree 217/2008, of 15 February, after the transposition of the directive ".

The offense was allegedly committed because the multicurrency option was an instrument of investment and therefore implied, incardinable in the art. 2.2 LMV. So that, in their marketing should apply the information duties Art. 79 ff. LMV.

– The second complaint was about "violation of art. 6.3 the Civil Code ".

The offense was allegedly committed by not having declared the Provincial Court the nullity of the contract, despite having violated peremptory norms (LMV, Law on Discipline and Intervention of Credit Institutions, Order 5 May 1994, Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Spanish Constitution).

– The sixth plea dealt with the "violation of art. 79 LMV while it has breached the standard of diligence and good faith and information on financial investments and therefore be held accountable for the damages caused to the financial institution ".

The appellant argued that the judgment of the Court was contrary to the case law stating that "the breach of the duties of information and observance of good faith in financial investments is the legal cause of the damages caused ".

– Septic reason picked up the "violation of art. 17.1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights [Dudः] and the constitutional principle of the right to housing enshrined in art. 47 THIS".

Recurring said that the placement of a product such as multicurrency mortgage had been an act of irresponsibility by banks. This is because payment of the fee did not prevent the risk of loss of housing.

The Chamber decided together these grounds. He cited STJUE of 3 December 2015, case More Banif Bank, Case C-312/14 stated that the art.4.1.2 MiFID was interpreted as "not a service or investment activity for the purposes of this provision certain foreign exchange transactions, made by a credit institution under terms of a loan agreement denominated in foreign currency ".

The Supreme Court, in its judgment 608/2017 of 15 November assumed the doctrine reflected in the earlier judgment of the STJUE. Therefore, the result of the above was that had not been infringed and the arts. 79 and 79 to LMV, or art. 6.3 CC.

Infringement of art. 6.3 CC, in relation to art. 48.2 Discipline Act and intervention of credit institutions and the Order of 5 May 1994, because the latter "do not provide for the nullity of banking contracts whose conclusion the bank has breached the duties of information, but administrative sanctions.

Regarding the right to decent housing for the arts. 17.1 of the UDHR and 47 of the Spanish Constitution, it was social rights of legal settings.

– The fifth ground of appeal denounced "infringement of arts. 80.1 and 82 TRLGCU and jurisprudential doctrine contained in the judgments 244/2013, of 18 April, 241/2013, of 9 May, 464/2014, of 8 September, and 138/2015 of 24 of March".

It was argued on this ground that the judgment violated transparency control required by art. 4.2 Directive 93/13, the STJUE of 30 April 2014 y la STS 241/2013 of 9 May. This is because lacked clear and understandable information about the consequences of multicurrency clauses, that do not allow consumers to know their legal position, nor the financial burden actually assumes ".

Not allowed to understand that the capital was amortized he was not delivered in euros, but calculated in the currency of choice in each case. So the amount owed could be reevaluated and constantly recalculated depending on the evolution of change.

In this regard the Chamber cited the jurisprudence of the CJEU, pursuant to Directive 93/13 / EEC on unfair terms declared importance of the recruitment consumers had sufficient pre-contractual information,  for it was at that stage when the decision to hire was adopted.

The STJUE of 20 September 2017, asunto C-186/16, case Andriciuc, He declared on the mortgage multicurrency "fundamental importance for consumers to have, antes de la celebración de un contrato, de información sobre las condiciones contractuales y las consecuencias de dicha celebración. The consumer decide whether to be boundmainly based on that information.

So, section 75 of the judgment OTP Bank and paragraph 50 of the judgment Andriciuc, added that: “the borrower must be clearly informed ... that ... it is exposed to exchange rate risk that will be, eventually, hard to take from an economic point of view in case of devaluation of the currency in which receives its revenues ... Moreover, the professional, in the present case the bank, it shall describe the possible variations in exchange rates and risks inherent in signing a loan in foreign currency.

In respect their judgment cited Room 323/2015, of 30 June, 608/2017, of 15 de noviembre y 599/2018, of 31 October which determined that "despite having been paying periodic redemption fees may happen that, past several years, if the currency has appreciated against the euro ... owed to the lender more capital in euros of which he was handed to the arrange the loan.

Therefore, as they have highlighted the SSTJUE, the clauses of these mortgage loans should be understood by the consumer. So that average consumer, well informed and reasonably observant and circumspect, You can assess the economic consequences of the clause.

For the Board, the fact that the market rules did not apply to these mortgage loans were considered not prevent complex products. And both were subject to control transparency by difficulty for the average consumer had represented their risks without adequate information.

Control of transparency was intended to the consumer could simply meet the economic burden that really meant the contract.

He concluded the Chamber in the case there had been no such pre-contractual information sufficient for the borrower to properly know the nature and risks of the product. The information you provided is not adequately explained itself that was the currency risk of the mortgage loan in foreign currency.

Also, Hall noted that "reading the written and the inclusion in it of biased mentions that the borrower claims to have been informed and take risks, it does not replace the lack of pre-contractual information”.

Without adequate information,   the consumer would not necessarily know that the valuation of the amount of fees, due to currency fluctuation, could jeopardize its ability to meet payments. Such fluctuation meant a constant recalculation of borrowed capital. Hence, years after concluding the contract and although the actor had paid all fees, the outstanding principal amount was much higher than that received when it concluded the contract.

For these reasons it was essential that the bank informed the client about the economic risks and consequences that the operation could involve.

The clauses They did not exceed transparency control because the borrower had not received adequate information about the risks associated with the product.

In conclusion, Chamber upheld the appeal and declared partial annulment of the contract. This involved removing references to the currency denomination of the loan, It is remaining as a loan and repaid in euros.


In hiring multicurrency mortgage loans,  the consumer must receive pre-contractual information that allows you to easily know the burden and the economic consequences of the contract.

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