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Protest at Caixa Catalunya Bank's HQ

Fri 1st Jan 2010

Spain's Caixa Catalunya saw dozens of their clients gathered outside their headquarters in Barcelona last month, demanding refunds for overcharges related to their variable mortgage loans.

The Bank's offices in the Plaza Antoni Maura, Barcelona, saw consumers demand that Caixa Catalunya President, Narcís Serra, adheres to the ruling by the Supreme Court of July 28, 2009 condemning it to refund overcharges, plus interest, for the practice of rounding off on variable-interest mortgages.

However, according to Ausbanc, Caixa Catalunya has reserved the right to act when it is ready – and not before.

During the demonstration the president of Ausbanc, Luis Pineda, reproached Caixa Catalunya and its attitude "of contempt" against the 150,000 plus families that are waiting for them to respond to the demands of the Supreme Court. Pineda also asked those present to close all their accounts and withdraw all savings from the Bank until such a time that they respond to the ruling.

Pineda also told the gathering that Ausbanc would not spare any effort in pressing for the refund of monies overcharged by Caixa Catalunya to its clients and said "This time we have made our demands outside their doors – next time, we will do it inside.

In addition to private clients, members of the business community were also present. The Secretary of the consumer collective for the Sant Pere of Barcelona neighbourhood, Pere Núñez I Blasco, joined the demonstration to protest against the bank's refusal to renew polices and personal loans – a policy which has forced a large number of small and medium businesses to close.

Others were present in support of Ausbanc and consumers hit by the closure of Forum and Afinsa. During his speech, Ausbanc's president also called on financial concerns and public opinion to back the rights of banking clients and for a just solution to those affected by the closure of Forum and Afinsa as well as other financial injustices.

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