Browse Tag

Azure

The Tuesday Slot: FCA, BPF and Azure Recap

Following on from yesterday’s article, Inside Timeshare has already received many comments from other members who identify with our story on how they were sold the Azure “timeshare investment weeks”. Their stories are identical to those we have heard from Silverpoint clients, after all, Azure is part of the same group of companies and was the sister company to Silverpoint. What Silverpoint sold in Tenerife was soon put into practice in Malta. This also included the brokering of huge loan agreements through Barclays Partner Finance, again without the “due diligence” of the finance company over the affordability of the loans and repayments.

This is a point which the Financial Conduct Authority who is supposedly charged with “policing” the finance industry and ensuring that consumers are protected are failing miserably. All they see are the loan agreements, they have no clue as to how these agreements are sold and brokered by the very people lying about the product they are selling. The FCA fails to recognise that the sales staff will do and say anything in order to finalise the sale and that includes lying about the loans.

The regulation of credit agreements and consumer protection was originally carried out by the Office of Fair Trading, they relinquished control to the FCA as of 1 April 2014.

The OFT was not a ministerial department and was responsible for the regulation of consumer credit since 1973. When it was closed down it passed the responsibility of its various functions to other organisations and departments with consumer credit going to the FCA.

Unfortunately, the FCA does not appear to be geared up to deal with the complexities of this area of consumer protection. In a recent article published by The Mail on Sunday, This is Money page by Jeff Prestridge, he highlights the many failings of the FCA.

In two telling paragraphs, Jeff states:

“a lack of training for staff whose job is to supervise the firms under the regulator’s watch. Lax processes in place for acting upon complaints brought to its attention by the public or those working in financial services. And staff employed to monitor companies’ marketing material without formal training in how to spot anything suspicious.”

And

“Most damning, it quotes an official working for the regulator’s supervision division who admits:” ‘I don’t believe to the best of my knowledge that there is much training around how to identify financial crime.’

Link to the This is Money article.

https://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/comment/article-9070435/JEFF-PRESTRIDGE-FCA-let-investors.html?fbclid=IwAR3M0bPZrnghdan3Ae5zxaGP17CHfiwYQ5llR0V0ELMTzic-j9XZD_3-72E

So how are they supposed to protect consumers when their own staff have no idea what they are doing?

Is it just a rubber stamp job?

Now according to the FCA, Azure Services Ltd had been “overlooked” as an “authorised” company for the brokering of loans when they took over on 1 April 2014. If so then the Office of Fair Trading must have had them as “Authorised”, or were they?

How did they find out Azure was not authorised, did they find out themselves or was it that BPF informed them in order to have the loan agreements validated and thereby enforceable in law?

This is obviously something that needs to be investigated, along with how the FCA operates and also a full investigation into Barclays Partner Finance for allowing timeshare sales staff to broker loan agreements for timeshare sales which without the agreements would never be sold.

For all those who have purchased a timeshare with loan agreements know all too well, if it wasn’t for the swift granting of these loans by the sales staff selling the timeshare, they would never have been able to afford it. In most cases, the consumers even explained they couldn’t afford the loan, yet the sales staff lied to them about the repayments and how long the loan was for, many being told it would be for 2 years as the resale would clear the loan!

The one thing which differs from loan agreements for purchases of cars or other items is very simple, you are not required to make a decision at that moment, we all know that timeshare sales are “today and today” only. You are kept “hostage” for many hours until you succumb and sign the agreements.

Even without the usual checks!

Once the FCA recognises the fact that timeshare sales are conducted in a totally different manner to other types of sales, the sooner the practice of timeshare sales staff brokering the loans comes to an end.

It is now down to those who have been “sold” these loan agreements to start a campaign to have these agreements, the FCA and BPF investigated, putting an end to the misery that timeshare sales, BPF and now the FCA have perpetuated.

Having spoken with the moderator of the Azure Malta Action And Support Group, which was originally set up to bring Azure clients with BPF loans together, they have decided to allow any timeshare owner with a BPF loan to join the group. Hopefully bringing more people together and getting something done.

There are certain conditions to joining the group which is a closed group, if you are genuinely interested in joining then contact them via Facebook on this link:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1152657598482168

Inside Timeshare is also calling for any members who purchased from Azure with a BPF loan agreement between January 2018 and the end of 2019. This follows some information published in the Financial Times which may put the validity of those loan agreements in doubt.

Please use our contact page for any comments or questions on this or any other article published and Inside Timeshare will get back to you.

Happy Clients Receive Their Money from Timeshare Companies

Following on from yesterday’s article on the ongoing case of the Azure brokered loan agreements with Barclays Partner Finance and the validation order granted by the Financial Conduct Authority, Inside Timeshare has already received many short comments. The story is the same, “this happened to us”, seems to be a recurring theme, it is obvious that we have opened up a very large can of worms. On Monday we hope to be publishing the story of one family and the horrendous problems they have encountered along the way. Today however we take a very quick look at three clients who have now received their long-awaited court-ordered payments.

The first of the payments is to an English client whose case was prepared and presented by Canarian Legal Alliance, a constant thorn in the side of Anfi!

These clients have now received their 13,608€ plus full legal interest which is now safely deposited in their account.

A rather forlorn looking Anfi

It was at the Court of First Instance Number 5 of San Bartelomé de Tirajana, where the judge made the initial award and declared their contract null and void, all in accordance with the law and the Supreme Court rulings. But as we already know from other cases, Anfi, in their warped way of looking at things, still disagreed and launched yet another appeal to the High Court.

Once again the High Court dismissed the appeal and confirmed the original sentence, ordering Anfi to repay the clients, they did not, claiming they “have no money”.

Well, we have heard this before, hence the Provincial Prosecutors Office investigating possible “criminal activities” due to the depleting of bank accounts to others and the changing of company names.

But in this case, as always, the lawyers at CLA are on their trail, identifying new bank accounts, companies etc as they appear and informing the courts of these facts.

The lawyers previously got wind of a “tax rebate” Anfi were to receive and had the court issue an embargo on the full sum, it is from this money that the client has been paid along with others in the same situation.

Anfi in its heyday

In the second case involving Anfi, another English client of CLA is now celebrating after they received 11,308€ plus legal interest which is now safely in their personal account.

This case is very similar to the one above, a resounding win at the Court of First Instance and then the usual Anfi appealed, which as we have seen to be the case always ends in the High Court confirming the original sentence.

It is also another case where these clients have been paid from the “tax rebate” CLA asked the court to embargo.

Surely this should tell Anfi one thing, PAY UP VOLUNTARILY when you lose in the first court, you are only delaying the inevitable!

Airtours Beach Club now known as Blue Bay

In the third payout, which is to a German client of CLA, their 24,234€ has been paid voluntarily by Airtours. This is the second case in a week where this timeshare company has accepted the ruling of the Court of First Instance of Las Palmas and paid without question.

They have accepted that their contracts are illegal and have conducted themselves in a professional and ethical manner. This has a double effect, the client does not have the stress of further court cases and the timeshare company does save on additional legal costs.

If only all timeshare companies who lose in the courts acted in this way, I’m sure it would go some way to repair the damage they have caused to what was once a great concept and product.

I am also convinced that the High Courts will, as we have seen in the past, increase the award from the Court of First Instance on every appeal case and it only serves them right.

End the Week Roundup and the Latest on the CLC Liquidations

Welcome to the end of the first full week of 2021, although the news coming from around the world does not look good with increased restrictions on travel and more lockdowns, it doesn’t stop in the world of the timeshare scammers. In fact, judging by the number of emails received along with the comments posted on the various Fb groups, the number of calls seems to be increasing. Many are those which we have already highlighted, some are new, but, they do all have one thing in common, the scare tactics and misinformation. In today’s article Inside Timeshare once again warns Club la Costa members to be on their guard and to seek advice before engaging with any company that calls. First, we have a quick look at what we covered this week.

We began the week with yet another appeal by Anfi being rejected and dismissed by the High Court. This was the last sentence issued by the court just before Christmas, so it was very welcome news for that particular client.

On Tuesday we had a quick look at our old friends at Mindtimeshare who began publishing again a few weeks ago. Although much of what they posted was out of date, it does serve as a reminder of how careful timeshare owners must be.

We also published the latest information on the Financial Conduct Authority and their validation of the loan agreements brokered by Azure through Barclay Partner Finance. In these articles, we published a link to the Fb Group, Azure Malta Action and Support Group who are gathering other victims for a concerted effort to have the validation order overturned.

In another case surrounding the subject of jurisdiction, this time it was the turn of Diamond Resorts (Europe) Ltd. Once again the Court of First Instance Number 1 of Fuengirola ruled in accordance with all rulings from various High Courts that Spanish Law and Courts do have jurisdiction and the timeshare companies operating from Spain must comply with the law.

Yesterday, in another ruling made by the same Court of First Instance in Fuengirola, ruled in the case of Continental Resort Services SLU, which is a Spanish registered company Club la Costa sales branch, also claimed that their contracts were subject to the Jurisdiction of UK Law and UK Courts.

The judge ruled in accordance with all previous rulings and declared the contract null and void with the client being awarded over 41,000€ plus legal interest and costs.

This case was brought before the courts on behalf of a German client by Canarian Legal Alliance.

Staying with Club la Costa, as we have published previously, there are several Club la Costa sales companies which have now filed for liquidation. We have already been informed that this is being used by some unscrupulous callers to scare CLC members into signing up for relinquishments and claims.

They are claiming that members are going to lose everything due to the liquidations, what we can tell you is these liquidations will have no effect on your membership. It does, however, affect any member looking at making a claim against the sales company which sold them the product.

The companies which are now going into administration are:

Paradise Trading SL;

Club la Costa (UK) PLC  sucursal en España;

Continental Resort Services SL;

California Beach Hotel, S.A.U.

PDF copies of the Official Bulletin Announcements.

If you already have a case in the courts, having a case prepared our advice is to contact your law firm or lawyer for clear and precise advice to check if this affects you and your case.

If you are contemplating legal action against CLC then ensure that you are being told the correct information. If you would like any further information on this or any other timeshare matter, please use our contact page and Inside Timeshare will get back to you.

Have a good weekend and join us again next week for more on the murky world of timeshare.

  • 1
  • 2