Search:     Go  
The Spanish Lawyer Online
The Spanish Lawyer Online

Antonio Flores’ Blog

Thoughts about laws and regulations which affect foreigners in Spain
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 .

Litigation , , ,

  1. Geoffrey Stanway
    June 4th, 2019 at 13:02 | #1

    I am a UK Solicitor assisting groups of UK expatriates in Cyprus with an identical issue to the CWM scandal in Spain.
    Most of the cases here feature SEB portfolio Bonds/ OMI European Investment Bonds opened in Ireland, with a few pension transfers to Malta. Several firms authorised only to sell insurance in Cyprus and passporting under an IMD authority only have been conducting pension transfers and giving and transmitting investment advice. With the Pension Trustees plus SEB/OMI turning a blind eye to the firms Insurance only permissions. I have several late stage Ombudsman cases ongoing in Ireland.
    I am interested in any Ombudsman decisions in Spain/ Malta you can help with plus this ongoing OMI prosecution in Spain.

  2. Malcolm Davies
    October 7th, 2019 at 11:16 | #2

    Good morning.
    I am about to start a complaint to the Irish Ombudsman concerning the transfer of my pension via a QROPS in Guernsey into 3 Insurance Bonds issued by Hansard Europe, from which the majority of funds were invested in unlicensed investments and are now worthless.
    The ifa involved was Richard Savill – part of the OFS Worldnet organisation, who falsely claimed to be fully regulated. Are you able to help, or to point me towards Ombudsman decisions in Ireland? Thank you. Malcolm Davies

  3. Antonio Flores
    October 7th, 2019 at 16:08 | #3

    Geoffrey, we have been looking at decisions on this but cannot find relevant decisions.

  4. Antonio Flores
    October 7th, 2019 at 16:10 | #4

    Hello Malcom:

    Unfortunately we do not have information on the companies you mention, so we are unable to help you.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *