Struggling bank ordered to pay back Coín resident for unbuilt flats

  • The prospective buyer handed over more than 110,000 euros as a deposit for properties that were due to be built by the now-bankrupt Aifos group

A court in Malaga has ordered a Coín resident to be compensated for a 111,333-euro down payment on two flats that were never built.

The prospective buyer handed the money over to Banco Popular as a ‘ring-fenced’ deposit on the properties that were due to be built in Fuengirola by the now-bankrupt Aifos group. However the development with the flats in was halted as it broke local planning regulations and the man has been trying to get his money back from the bank since 2015.

Now a judge has found in favour of the Aifos customer and ordered the money to be repaid, plus interest and legal costs. The decision is based on four similar Supreme Court rulings from 2015 and opens the way for more legal claims from people who lost money in a similar way, lawyers for the buyer said.

Banco Popular, now owned by Santander, was given a period of 20 days to lodge an appeal against the decision. In its testimony, the bank said the buyer had been aiming to speculate on the flats by selling them on, and therefore the risk was all his.

However the judge said that this wasn’t definitely the case and that he could have been planning to connect the adjoining properties or give one to a family member.