More than 100,000 home owners in the province of Málaga are set to benefit from last week’s historic court ruling on fixed minimum rates, according to banking consumer group Ausbanc. The ruling affects 40 financial entities including big names such as BBVA, Sabadell and Málaga-based Unicaja which face a joint bill estimated at €5 billion.
A Madrid commercial court ruled last Thursday that fixed rate mortgages – known in Spanish as ‘cláusula suelo’ (‘floor clause’) mortgages – were null and void because of the “lack of transparency” in the way they were sold during the property boom. The class action lawsuit was brought by the association of bank users, Adicae, on behalf of 15,000 of those affected.
The ruling ordered the banks to return sums “wrongly paid” by customers since May 9, 2013. However, many of the entities which issued the mortgages, the number which has been reduced to 40 from 101 through mergers, have already stated they will appeal the decision in a provincial court and have 20 days to do so.