After its conviction on appeal at the end of November, in the context of the Helvet Immo real estate loan affair, the BNP Paribas bank found an amicable solution with the consumer association Consumption of housing and living environment (CLCV), which could cost him between 400 and 600 million euros. Confirming information from ParisianCLCV said Monday 1uh January – in a press release sent to Agence France-Presse (AFP) – having “ found, on the proposal of BNP Paribas Personal Finance, an amicable solution for customers (around 4,400) who had subscribed to the Helvet Immo real estate loan contract ». Contacted by AFP, BNP Paribas Personal Finance confirmed this ” amicable agreement “ conclude with the consumer association.
Marketed during 2008 and 2009, this loan intended for tax-free rental investment had the particularity of being denominated in Swiss francs, but repayable in euros. In the wake of the financial crisis, the euro fell sharply against the Swiss currency: the amounts to be repaid then soared, and contracts became financial pits. The case was the subject of criminal proceedings to which CLCV was a civil party since 2015.
Solution proposed “in the coming months” to borrowers
At the end of November, BNP Paribas Personal Finance, known through its Cetelem brand, was found guilty on appeal of misleading commercial practices and concealment, for having concealed the risks of Helvet Immo, and ordered to pay considerable damages, which amounted to tens of millions of euros. In parallel with this criminal aspect, the CLCV also initiated an action to cease unfair clauses during 2017, relating in particular to indexation to the Swiss franc, as well as a group action from 2016.
“Under the terms of the agreement concluded, BNP Paribas Personal Finance undertakes to offer a solution in the coming months to all borrowers”, according to the press release from the consumer association. According to a source close to the matter, the agreement provides for the cancellation of the loan contract (for a unit amount generally ranging from 120,000 to 150,000 euros), which could lead BNP Paribas to pay between 400 and 600 million . euros, according to the estimate of this source.
The CLCV association “express its satisfaction at reaching an amicable outcome, in the interest of the consumers concerned and without having to wait for final decisions to be rendered in the actions it had initiated, in particular the group action”.