Benoît Hamon, which helps to BNP Paribas facing 4400 customers cheated by toxic loans in Swiss francs. A priori, this does not fit the image that one has of the Minister responsible for the Social Economy and Consumption, former representative of the left wing of the Socialist Party. And yet. In a letter that Liberation was able to consult, sent by the Minister to his friend PS deputy of Paris Pascal Cherki, who asked about the toxic loans back, Benoît Hamon multiplies errors and approximations and is an advocate of the bank.
Citing a survey by the Directorate General of Competition, Consumption and Fraud Control (DGCCRF), the Minister said: “In the light of observations made and considering the establishment of a suitable device mediation BNP Paribas Personal Finance, it was not envisaged to initiate legal action against this institution “. Problem: a bank acquires a mediator is a legal requirement. This is not an excuse not to bring the case to justice. But there is worse. Benoît Hamon then certifies that “the investigation of the DGCCRF shows that credit institutions sold loans in Swiss francs mainly for individuals earning income in the franc, which presents no currency risk for these “. Now it is archifaux. Especially for loans Helvet Realty, designed by BNP Paribas. Even the bank admits: it marketed its loans in Swiss francs to customers who were paid in euros and for which the increase in Swiss franc (around 25%) resulted in a considerable increase in the capital still outstanding. “This letter is symptomatic of the position of the authorities on the subject, says Charles Constantine Vallet, a lawyer for the victims of collective. Everything gives the impression of total support vis-à-vis the bank. ”
“Misleading.” When asked, the office of Benoit Hamon is very embarrassed by this letter in which he acknowledged the “imprecise formulations and incomplete.” He blames the previous government, under which the investigation of the DGCCRF was conducted. And he says it’s the Paris prosecutor had decided in February 2012 not to attack the bank. Still, the investigation of the DGCCRF then continued, and a new report was written in the fall. What alert Benoît Hamon. But it seems that his office has discovered about the toxic loans only recently. As a sign of good will, his staff says now be ready to receive representatives of the victims.
It was time, especially that justice is finally beginning to seriously take up the issue. While the first complaints were filed in November 2011, the Paris prosecutor opened a criminal investigation Friday “for deceptive trade practices.” It is the judge’s financial hub Claire Thépaut which was appointed to investigate this issue which has to date 141 complaints, but Mr. Constantine Vallet announces 40 more by the end of the week. And the list is far from closed. Referred: BNP Paribas, who designed these loans referred Helvet Immo, but also several intermediaries in banking operations that have marketed them. Among them: the Akers group Lonlay & Associés, Fidelium or Hermes Council … Individuals caught in this spiral of toxic loans have in common that they subscribed in the years 2008-2009 the loans in Swiss francs but repayable in euros, to finance the purchase of housing in rental vocation, under the Robin or Scellier tax provisions, allowing for tax savings. These loans were attractive with below market rates, but their investors assumed the entire currency risk. A risk that has materialized.
Middle class. For four years, the Swiss franc has continued to advance against the euro. The result: a couple of Yvelines, who borrowed 164,500 euros in March 2009, is now 209,091 euros. Another family of Essonne, who borrowed 170,526 euros in November 2008, is 207,950 euros. And contrary to what is suggested BNP Paribas, the majority of victims of these loans are not rich investors. They often belong to the middle class: they are a police officer, teacher, department manager in supermarkets, engineer, social worker, doctor, nurse, trader, craftsman … and they foolishly believed they were doing good business.