Homeowners seek ‘brave’ lawyer

Bookmark and Share

Norway’s national association representing homeowners (Huseiernes Landsforbund) has been advertising that it wants to hire “Norway’s bravest lawyer” to take on the country’s biggest bank, DNB. The association plans to sue DNB for wrongly raising interest rates on home mortgages last spring.

DNB’s interest rate hike, equal to about a third of a percentage point, came even after the country’s central bank (Norges Bank) had reduced interest rates, and other commercial banks quickly followed DNB’s lead. The banks claim the rate hike was necessary to meet new capital requirements imposed by the state.

Not so, retorted Finance Minister Sigbjørn Johnsen as the rate hike also set off anger within the Norwegian government. Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg, who’s a personal friend of DNB’s chief executive, also said it was unnecessary. The banks since have released strong profits fueled at least partly by the extra mortgage interest revenues they’re collecting each month.

The homeowners’ organization is now following through on claims it would legally challenge the banks’ interest rate hike. “We’re looking for a good lawyer with experience in bank law who has the courage to take up the fight against DNB and, eventually, other banks,” the organization wrote in local newspaper ads. The deadline for applications passed over the weekend.

newsinenglish.no staff