Mortgage blow for Spanish banks

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Mortgage blow for Spanish banks Credit: Google Images

BRUSSELS gave the thumbs down to the mortgage conditions imposed by Spanish banks.

This could open the door to multimillion claims from roughly one million Spanish homeowners, finance experts calculate.

The European Court of Justice’s (ECJ) Attorney General declared that the Mortgage Loan Index (IRPH) cannot be excluded from the EU directives on abusive mortgage clauses.

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The Spanish IRPH should be subject to judicial control owing to its “potentially abusive character”, Brussels said.

Banks in Spain, with the backing of the government, have in the past argued that the official character of the IRP made it “impossible” to use it abusively.

In 2017 Spain’s Supreme Court ruled in favour of the banks on the grounds that the IRPH is not an essential clause in a mortgage contract. It is an official index “defined, fixed, calculated and supervised by the Bank of Spain.”


Because the IRPH is published in the Official State Bulletin (BOE) the index should be excluded from EU directives, the Supreme Court argued.

The EU ruling from the European Court of Justice is not binding although as a rule, the ECJ judges tend to follow the Attorney General’s recommendations, court sources said.


Linda came to Spain to live when she was 24, just over 52 years ago, and her husband is Spanish. She began writing for English-language local newspapers in the mid-1970s and hasn’t stopped since! She leads a Spanish life, which she believes is vital when conveying the news to English-speaking residents, and along the way she produced two editions of Expand Your Spanish, helping English-speakers to enlarge their knowledge of the language. She was excited to be in at the birth of the Euro Weekly News in 1999 and is still passionately writing for the paper 22 years later.

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