The investment bank Natixis became publicly-listed in 2006. During the public offering, the investment bank’s shares were sold to institutional investors, but also to private savers through the banks Caisse d’Epargne and Banque Populaire.
Bank advisorsrecommended investing in Natixis arguing that it hadnot achieved its full potential. As a consequence, over two million consumers bought shares for a respective price of €19.55 per share. The banks, however, failed to inform investors about the possible risks of the investment. In the following years, Natixis’ share value dropped dramatically. By March 2009, a single share was worth 80 eurocents. Investors are estimated to have lost about €40 million.
In 2013, one saver won a case against Banque Populaire des Alpes and received compensation. The judges found that Banque Populaire des Alpes had breached its duty to advise, but also sanctioned it for a conflict of interest, since it was a majority shareholder of the company Natixis.