European Commission


Case detail

Directive article Article 7 1.
National ID Ombudsman of the Consumer 21st of November 2011 (Νo of protocol 10329)
Country Greece Decision date 21/11/2011
Common name Decision type Other
Court Συνήγορος του καταναλωτή Plaintiff(s)
Court translation Ombudsman of the Consumer Defendant(s) HSBC Bank plc.
Subject investments
Keywords financial servicesinformation obligationinformation requirementsmaterial informationprecontractual informationrisk

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It does not suffice to pre-contractually inform a consumer with general information on a financial product only.


The Ombudsman of the Consumer had received a report from a consumer in which the latter accused the defendant of misleading pre-contractual information during the purchase of the bonds issued by the bank Landsbanki Islands.
The consumer claimed that he found out the risk of his investment only when the issuer of the bonds stopped paying the interest coupons, after the financial systemic crisis that followed the collapse of Lehman Brothers. As a result from the above, the bond yield was at a very low level having caused a significant negative impact on the initial capital invested by the consumer.
The defendant stated that the consumer received accurate and complete information as to the value of his bond after the bond’s purchase.

Legal issue

Does it suffice to pre-contractually inform a consumer with general information on a financial product only?


The Ombudsman deemed it proven that the only pre-contractual information provided by the defendant for the purchase of the bond was the oral information given to the consumer mentioning the amount of the bond, the date of expiry and the name of the issuer.
There was no other written pre-contractual information regarding a) the terms of the banking bond b) the risks deriving from the specific investment and c) the details of the issuer of the bond.
Additionally, there was no qualification of the client according to the risk that he is willing to undertake, the time that he is willing to invest as well as to his investment knowledge and targets.

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The Ombudsman of the Consumer ruled against the defendant.

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