The CAM Bank in Spain Lose Customer Trust
The CAM Bank (Caja de Ahorros del Mediterráneo) in Spain loses customer trust over several odd transactions not expected of a bank.
The CAM savings bank comes under the protective wing of the Bank of Spain, and is a non-profit organisation that has been created for social and charitable purposes, according to their website.
The reality is that the CAM bank, like most savings banks in Spain, are mortgage lenders that are often heavily involved with building firms from the planning stage onwards, offering guarantees and funding for the building boom in Spain's Costa Blanca region.
With the recession and the collapse in the building industry, The CAM has found it has bitten off more than it can chew. With spiralling debts as more and more people hand in their keys for property bought in better times, the CAM bank is struggling to survive.
With this uncertainty over its future, many CAM bank customers have found themselves with unexplained charges added to their account. This especially affects foreign residents, mostly from the UK who cannot speak Spanish.
While the CAM Bank advertises that its friendly staff speak English, often this is found not to be the case. For those who can actually speak some English, you will find a huge communication breakdown when they suddenly cannot understand what you are trying to ask, leading to confusion on the part of both sides. This gives then ample opportunity to continue withdrawing funds from your account with no explanation as to where this money is actually going.
This has happened to many of its customers, with money continually dribbling out of their account and no plausible explanation as to where it actually goes.
The Cam Bank have a web presence as well as close ties with builders, and many foreigners planning on moving to Spain, or buying a holiday home there, use the CAM Bank for financing their property.
Case A involves a couple who had a mortgage with the CAM Bank for their finca on the campo.
The CAM Bank provide compulsory insurance on all their mortgaged properties and this insurance is among the more expensive insurances offered Spain -wide.
This finca was insured for €50,000 rebuilding costs.
One night, the couple, who worked nights, came home to find their home a shouldering ruin. They lost everything, and duly submitted a claim to the Cam Bank's insurers.
Months went by with no word on how their claim was doing, despite the couple's repeated phone calls. Friends donated a caravan in which they were forced to live while the claim was ongoing. It should have been simple. They were insured for €50k and lost everything. Their house was a shell requiring complete re-building.
One day, someone from the insurance company asked them to stop phoning as the claim had been settled.
Their joy was short-lived.
On calling into their local branch of the CAM Bank, they were shocked to learn that the CAM BANK HAD ACCEPTED A MERE €23,000 ON THEIR BEHALF, WITHOUT INFORMING THEM.
That couple are still living in a caravan 6 years later, while they fight this decision of the CAM Bank (and it wasn't their decision to make) through the courts.
Case Number 2 involved a lady paying her mortgage repayment in cash, as she did every month.
After counting out the money in the bank queue, she passed it over the teller who re-counted it and announced it was €50 short.
The lady paid over another €50, but on leaving the bank realised she was in fact €50 short and returned, demanding the teller recheck her balance.
Told to return the following day after the bank's accounts had been balanced, she returned only to be told everything was in order. She then pointed out that she had first withdrawn the necessary money from the bank's outside cash machine. On hearing this, the teller told her to return the next day again as the cash machine had not been tallied.
The following day her €50 was returned, and the cash machine blamed for the error.
However, the lady in question still insists that she had counted the money in the bank and had indeed handed over the correct money in the first place.
This is a classic example of how the CAM Bank loses customer trust. It is of vital importance that tellers can be trusted with your money.
Case number 3 again involves a lady who was asked to pay her annual house insurance when she went into pay her mortgage in cash.
She had wanted to change insurance companies, but failed to give the asked-for 3 months notice of intent. She asked instead for a six month insurance contract, giving her time to arrange an alternative insurance.
As they normally charge well over €300 for the annual insurance, she was pleased to only be asked for €150 and happily paid it over.
On paying the mortgage she was handed two receipts from the teller. One presumably for the mortgage payment and the other for the insurance.
One month later when she returned to pay her mortgage, she was asked for a further €350 for the insurance premium.
On querying this, she was told to produce her receipt for having paid this premium the previous month, even though it was the same bank teller who denied selling a six month premium.
On returning home, she was shocked to find that the two receipts given her by the teller the previous month were both for the mortgage, which had unusually been split into two payments.
The moral of this story is to ALWAYS CHECK YOUR BANK RECEIPTS AT THE CAM BANK.
More and more people are closing their CAM Bank accounts due to to irregular payments being taken from their account without prior warning.
However, if they have a mortgage with the CAM Bank, the only way left to pay it is in cash at the teller's desk inside the bank.
If the tellers are less than honest, this can still cost you dearly.
I would advise anyone reading here to steer well clear of the CAM Bank, who are obviously so desperate for your cash that they will find illegal and immoral means of getting it.