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Experts warn that the strict application of anti- money laundering measures has created a barrier for investment
21.03.14 - 16:12 -
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MIPS property fair reveals that red tape is holding back Russian investors
The Marbella International Porperty Show has been held this week at the Villa Padierna hotel. :: JOSELE-LANZA
Spain’s bureaucracy can exasperate anybody and that applies equally to Russians interested in buying a property on the Costa del Sol. While other European countries are only too happy to accept transfers from Russian accounts, Spain has to meticulously examine every rouble due to anti-money laundering regulations.
These were among the issues discussed by experts this week at the Marbella International Property Show held at the Villa Padierna hotel.
Among them was lawyer Ricardo Bocanegra, specialist in issues related to foreign residents in Spain. “Sometimes they are subjected to insulting interrogations or they are asked for documents that don’t even exist,” he explained.
He added that these difficulties are “tiring investors” and that “90 per cent of Russians who want to buy a property in Spain aren’t coming to launder anything”.
The transfer obstacles are not the only red tape Russians have to tackle if they want to buy a property in Spain. Sergio Krupnov, who advises Russian investors, pointed out that residents have difficulties obtaining a Spanish driving licence as there is no agreement with Russia to allow a direct swap, as there is with other countries. Instead they have to start the process of getting a licence from scratch.
This, said Krupnov, is restricting sales of top-end vehicles that Russians would buy if they had a licence to drive them.
The MIPS closes at the Villa Padierna today, Friday.