After we reported that Herald sponsor European Consumer Claims had instigated a legal challenge that had resulted in Barclays Partner Finance ordered to repay millions of pounds following scrutiny over their relationship with disgraced Maltese timeshare company Azure, they are potentially facing further billions in claims it has been revealed today.
Andrew Cooper, CEO of European Consumer Claims (ECC) said, “There is a lot more to come, we have barely scratched the surface.”
ECC, which represents victims of mis-sold timeshares, collaborated with lawyers from the Spanish firm M1 Legal, working in conjunction with UK solicitors and barristers on the case.
Andrew explained, “It was a challenge. Barclays fought their corner, but the FCA tribunal came to the right decision in awarding money back to the victims. If anything we believe it didn’t go far enough, and in fact an appeal is in progress to increase the compensation awards. Barclays were also providing loans to other giant timeshare companies like Club La Costa and Silverpoint, and as with Azure, the same people processing the loan applications were the sales people pressuring the customers to sign up on the day; a clear conflict of interests that ought to raise red flags with any responsible lender.“
Barclays is not the only financial institution in ECC’s crosshairs. Andrew said, “Hitachi Personal Finance and Shawbrook Bank also provided loans for high pressure timeshare sales operations. There are over 100,000 owners just between Club La Costa, Azure and Silverpoint, and based on our research, at least 80% of those had loans from these finance entities, with an average value of over £10,000 each. Add to that the thousands more timeshare resorts in Europe and you can see that the figure is substantial. We are examining an estimated total of well over a £billion in liabilities that we believe is owed to people who may have been mis-sold to by the timeshare sales staff at these resorts.”
“This is a huge deal” says Daniel Keating of the Timeshare Consumer Association. “Many people see these banks as having been complicit with disreputable timeshare operations and it’s a reputation they will want to disassociate from as swiftly as possible. Frankly we would have expected more oversight from responsible financial institutions like these. Compensation for the victims should be the very first consideration. We will follow the legal proceedings with interest.”
Anyone who bought a timeshare membership of any kind, felt under pressure and felt mis-sold can contact ECC to find out if they can help you. Andrew comments, “Just let us know when and where you bought, and have your documents to hand. One of our team will be able to let you know fairly quickly if you might qualify to join the legal action.”