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Scam warning over fake 'floor clause' telephone calls from banks

Recent protests over 'floor clauses' in some bank loans.
Recent protests over 'floor clauses' in some bank loans. / SUR
  • Lenders start to process 'cláusula suelo' refund claims as judges warn the court system may collapse if customers don't agree with the payouts on offer

The deadline passed this weeks for banks to put steps in place to tell customers that they may be due a refund on their mortgage payments if their loan contract included a hidden 'floor clause'. Lenders will not inform people one by one, but will put details in branches and on websites about the refund process.

However, consumer groups have warned about a phone scam whereby a person receives a call with an automated message. The voice gives the impression that it is the bank calling about a refund. The customer is urged to call back to verify their details but the number given is a premium rate line and callers are put on hold for several minutes and charged for the call. Lawyers have explained that a bank will not contact a customer individually by phone or by email to say they may be due a refund.

Fears of court overload

Judges in Malaga have asked for additional capacity to deal with legal complaints if too many customers fail to reach agreements with their lender over the refund amount and are forced to turn to the courts for a settlement. They fear that banks may use the stretched court system to delay any payout for several years.