Constantia Privatbank may be held liable for AWD’s actions again


Constantia Privatbank may be held liable for AWD’s actions again

Tuesday, 11 June, 2013

With regard to investor’s claims for damages plenty of new decisions have been rendered over the last few days. The Commercial Court in Vienna has now made its opinion regarding the disputed issue of attribution of a third adviser to the bank for incorrect investment advices.

The Austrian High Court of Justice had already given his view on that subject before. However, in the course of proceedings at the Commercial Court some details emerged about the close relationship between AWD (now Swiss Life Select) and Immofinanz. The particular case concerns a couple suing Aviso Zeta AG (former Constantia Privatbank AG) for investor’s damages after a settlement had been reached with AWD regarding damages suffered from its incorrect investment advices.

 A witness testified before the court that AWD was calculating surcharges depending on the amount spent on investments. Furthermore acquisition commissions in the amount of 2% and portfolio commissions in the amount of 0,5% have been paid by former Constantia Privatbank AG.

That particular witness has been questioned before the court in similar cases for over 100 times. Thus the judge was tempted to the statement: “The trial court allows itself de lege ferenda to notice that the record-breaking testimonies are one of the indications that the Austrian Civil Procedure Code is an excellent framework for proceedings concerning one claimant against one respondent. In situations where thousands of claimants are facing the same respondent efficient state personal’s and attorney’s costs saving processing cannot be guaranteed.”

The final statement of the latest judgment: participants on the financial marketplace are liable for agents in cases where a close relationship exists.