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Helvet Immo case: a subsidiary of BNP Paribas sentenced on appeal to a fine of 187,500 euros

The sentence has fallen.

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Helvet Immo case: a subsidiary of BNP Paribas sentenced on appeal to a fine of 187,500 euros

The sentence has fallen. The consumer credit subsidiary of BNP Paribas was sentenced on Tuesday on appeal in Paris in the Helvet Immo affair to a maximum fine of 187,500 euros for misleading commercial practices, as well as to pay considerable damages. BNP Paribas Personal Finance (BNPPF), known through its Cetelem brand, was found guilty a second time of having concealed the risks of its Swiss franc loan Helvet Immo, of which 4,600 contracts were signed in 2008-2009.

At first instance, the bank was sentenced on February 26, 2020 to a fine of the same amount and to immediately pay around 130 million euros in damages to some 2,500 borrowers who were civil parties. For its part, the court of appeal found BNPPF “fully responsible for the damage suffered” but did not specify the sums allocated to each, due to their large number. She also postponed the examination of the cases of several hundred borrowers until April.

At issue in this case is the marketing in 2008 and 2009 of the Helvet Immo loan, intended for tax-exempt rental investments. This loan had the particularity of being denominated in Swiss francs but repayable in euros. However, in the wake of the financial crisis, the euro fell sharply against the Swiss currency: the amounts to be repaid then exploded, sometimes by more than 30%.

“What you can remember today is that you have won,” said Charles Constantin-Vallet, lawyer for more than a thousand civil parties, to a group of borrowers in the corridor of the Court of Appeal. came to attend the deliberations. “We take note of the decision, the merits of which we contest,” declared Dan Benguigui, lawyer for the bank. “We will carefully examine the judgment of the Paris Court of Appeal to decide whether or not we want to appeal (in cassation, Editor's note). Personal Finance remains attentive to its clients to provide them with individualized proposals adapted to their respective situations,” he added.

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