CAM Bank, together with Spanish developer, Cleyton GES SL, have been brought to court in a 4-day trial in a move to recover a significant amount of deposits paid for the Las Higuericas Finca Parcs development, in Agramón, Albacete.
The 70 members of the
Finca Parcs Action Group & Bank Guarantees in Spain Action Group
are claiming a total of €1.5 million from the defendants, citing LEY 57/68 Article 1.2 which claims that any deposits "must be deposited in a Special Account, with separation from any other funds belonging to the promoter, which may only contain funds deposited for the construction of dwellings. For the opening of these accounts or deposits the Banking institution or Savings bank, under its responsibility, will demand the bank guarantee to which the previous condition refers”.
FPAG, who first referred CAM to court in February 2011, with the first hearing having taken place in January of this year, will finally see their case heard in a court in Hellin on the 21st May.
Co-ordinator of FPAG, Keith Rule, says “It is our inalienable right under Spanish Law to have our off-plan deposits held in a Special Escrow Account and protected by way of individual Bank Guarantees. Contrary to Spanish Law the developer, Cleyton GES SL together with CAM Bank, who funded the project and accepted the off-plan deposits, failed to protect our money”.
“We have been demanding our Bank Guarantees since 2007 and even visited the CAM Bank branch to which our deposits were transferred and also the CAM Business Offices in Murcia and London, however they failed to deal with our complaint. Finally in 2009 before commencing legal action we took our complaint to the CAM CEO, Roberto Lopez Abad and CAM President – Modesto Crespo. They replied by email which stated: “If you do not have a Bank Guarantee then you have no relationship with this Entity”.
to find out more about Bank Guarantees in Spain.
“Despite abandoning the project in 2009 neither the developer nor CAM Bank returned our money. For the past 3 years the developer has been declared on various Court Judgments as ‘whereabouts unknown’. Therefore we were forced into this lengthy, expensive and very stressful legal battle”.
Just 50 of the 617 proposed properties at the development have been completed to date.
At a press conference in September 2011, Bank of Spain Governor Miguel Ángel Fernández Ordóñez called the behaviour of the Banco CAM executives "scandalous" and referred to the bank was "the worst of the worst".
CAM was bought in 2011 by Banco Sabadell for One Euro with future losses being underwritten by the Spanish Government.