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Home > Litigation > Unregulated Isle of Man Companies To Face Trial In Spain

Unregulated Isle of Man Companies To Face Trial In Spain

April 30th, 2019

The View From Douglas Head, Isle Of Man..jpg

(Photo by Jim Linwood)

For financial and insurance companies based in the Crown Dependencies (Isle of Man, Guernsey and Jersey), the advent of the long-awaited Brexit will have no impact whatsoever as these territories are not part of the European Union (EU) and are not included within the scope of the UK’s membership of the EU.

Because but for those very companies, whether “brexiteers” or “remainers”, operating within the EU was never a problem despite not being licensed, authorized or regulated. But how so?

If we take the example of Spain, the likes of Old Mutual International, RL 360º or Generali have operated with infinite impunity for years, selling all manner of unregulated single- premium life insurance policies or, rather fancifully described, investment-linked assurance schemes (“ILAS”) through equally unregulated brokers.

It is believed that British expats in Spain have tens of millions deposited in a vast array of financial and investment products that these insurance platforms peddled for years, in exchange for substantial fees for managers and brokers. Many of these victims have lost substantially, and some have nothing to show for it. In these crown dependencies, the word “consumer” has no space.

Fortunately, Spain thinks differently and in the first of its kind, a case for civil fraud against Old Mutual International Isle of Man is going to trial in Marbella, on the 20/5/2019. Not even the best lawyers money could buy has saved this company from being closer to having its best-preserved secret aired publicly: that they were illegally selling insurance in Spain, for years, with absolutely impunity.

If the Court of First Instance rules that Old Mutual did indeed operate in Spain unregulated, hundreds -thousands perhaps- could follow suit and trigger yet another scandal in the already dubious Isle of Man, where insurance represents 14% of the economy (and financial services more than 32%).

To be updated on this case you can call or email us and of course, feel free to attend the public trial should you wish.

About Antonio Flores

Antonio Flores is the head lawyer at Lawbird, a Spanish law firm specialised in property and litigation. More on .

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