Anger at Spanish court’s u-turn favoring banks over customers in mortgage tax case
Supreme Court comes under fire as some call for the resignation of the head of Spain's highest judicial authority
Spain’s Supreme Court is under fire over a major u-turn in which judges decided that clients and not banks should pay a tax on new mortgages, thus overriding a series of crucial rulings tipping the scales in favor of customers in recent weeks.
Catalan president Quim Torra deemed the decision a "scandal" and called on the president of Spain’s General Council of the Judiciary, Carlos Lesmes, to step down. Judges for Democracy, encompassing left-leaning judges from across Spain, also demanded Lesmes’ resignation.
Spanish banks rose in the stock markets on Wednesday, with Banco Santander growing by 3.7%, BBVA by 3%, CaixaBank by 5.3%, and Banc Sabadell by 5.7%.
The 28 judges of the Supreme Court debated the issue for two days. And they decided against favoring clients by a slim majority: 15 voted for customers to pay, while 13 said banks should be the ones to shoulder the duty.