The Spanish Supreme Court has recently ruled against Unicaja bank for having wrongly blacklisted a client in what it considered a violation of their rights to ‘personal honour’ and data protection.
As a result of the ruling, the Spanish bank has been ordered to remove the client from the Defaulters’ Register and pay 5,000 euros in damages, plus interest, for this error.
What is the Defaulters’ Register?
This client took the bank to court after finding that he had been wrongly blacklisted – which is to say he was placed on the Defaulters’ Register.
Banks such as Unicaja maintain this list to monitor individuals and companies with outstanding debts. This information plays a vital role in banks’ decisions regarding loan approvals and credit extensions.
However, being inaccurately included in this register can be a nightmarish experience. It has the potential to seriously damage an individual’s financial credibility, resulting in significant consequences like credit card rejections, difficulties in selling assets such as cars, and obstacles in obtaining public loans.
A long-standing legal battle
The saga began when the client challenged his wrongful inclusion on the Defaulters’ Register in the Court of First Instance in La Carolina (Jaén). He claimed that Unicaja violated his rights to personal honour and data protection.
The court initially sided with Unicaja, dismissing the case. However, the Provincial Court of Jaén saw things differently in the appeal, recognising the client’s right to honour had been violated.
While the Provincial Court ordered Unicaja to remove the client’s name from the register, it did not agree to compensate him for the damages suffered.
Supreme Court steps in
As a result, the case was escalated to the Supreme Court, which re-examined the situation. The justices acknowledged that if a person’s honour is violated, they deserve compensation. They emphasised the importance of considering the widespread impact of being listed as a defaulter and the stress involved in rectifying such errors.
Finally, the Supreme Court delivered justice. They ruled against Unicaja, ordering the bank to pay 5,000 euros in compensation, plus interest, as laid out in Article 576 of the Civil Procedure Law.
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