Structured investment products
From 2007 to 2008, DNB Lithuania (a subsidiary of the Norwegian bank DNB) misled consumers by actively marketing specific investments products as a ‘safe’ product. The product in question was a combination of debt obligations (linked to commodities or financial indices) with a loan. While the product was sold as ‘risk free’, it was in fact as risky as gambling. Furthermore, consumerswere convinced by the bank to take out loans to finance the investment.
In the adverse market conditions following the global financial crisis, an absolute majority of consumers suffered huge losses imposed by the bank when the debt obligations matured. Over 600 customers incurred significant losses in relation to this scheme, totaling 100 million litas (nearly €30 million). In some cases, consumers lost their family house or flat, or land. For a small number of investors who took their case before the Supreme Court of Lithuania, a ruling was issued in 2016 that required the bank and the customer to split the investment losses by half each.