Banco BIC ordered to pay €500,000 to duped customer


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The Lisbon Court of Appeal ordered the Portuguese Banco Bic to pay 500 thousand euros to a customer of the Ponte de Lima branch who “was deceived” and had been fighting in court for six years to get his savings back.

The decision of the Lisbon Court of Appeal, to which the Lusa agency had access today, revoked the first instance judgment that judged “totally unfounded” the common action filed in 2017 by the construction worker, at the time, an emigrant in France, acquitting the bank.

Last February, the Court of Appeal “partially upheld” the appeal filed by the client, currently residing in Viana do Castelo, condemning the Portuguese BCI Bank to pay him 400 thousand euros, plus “interest on arrears at the legal rate, from the summons, in 2014, until the effective and full payment”.

To Lusa, the plaintiff’s lawyer, Carlos Pires, “said that the default interest represented an amount of 100 thousand euros”, adding that “the total amount has already been paid by Banco BIC, after the decision became final”.

The court acquitted the bank of paying “compensation for non-pecuniary damage in the amount of €7,500, plus default interest at the statutory rate, due and owing from the time of the summons until full and effective payment”.

The case dates back to 2014. At the time, the man was a customer of the Ponte de Lima branch of Banco BIC, where he held a term deposit account worth 400 thousand euros.

The emigrant in France invested that amount in bonds, a banking product that was presented to him by his account manager as being “all the same as a term deposit, but with a much better return and assured profitability, with assured capital”.

“The author was deceived. The author was given wrong information about what was being sold to him. If the author had known the risk he was taking, given the demonstrated conservative profile, he would not have made the deal”, reads the 48-page decision.

The court found that there had been a “gross breach of duty” on the part of the account manager “to provide information and to exercise due diligence, which would lead to his fault being classified as serious”, since “the financial illiteracy” of the client was known.

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