And who will attend me at 11Onze?

A bank for people, made by people. This is one of the pillars of 11Onze and the raison d’être of the community, but how will this idea be implemented? We are speaking to team leader Lara de Castro.

 

De Castro is one of 11Onze’s team leaders and in this pre-launch phase, she is conducting the client service programme. When asked about the relationship with future clients, her answer is clear: “11Onze clients are our cornerstone. We want our relationship with them to be clean and always based on truth and transparency“. A vision that stems from the palpable client needs of being attended in a personalised way,  listened to and advised in an ethical manner that looks after their interests. The aim, so, is that “whoever is a client of 11Onze may know that no information is hidden from them, and that is the most important thing, that they may always find support among the team of agents and also within 11Onze community itself”.

Online operations, proximity service

“Our value proposition is customer-centric, so we will be there whenever we are needed. Our attending hours will be 24 hours a day, 365 days a year,” De Castro explains. A commitment that, beyond the corporate side, becomes a social commitment, as she points out: “Our commitment to the community is very strong. People who need us most will be much closer to us”.

To achieve such mission, they have the best possible ally: technology. “Our customer service is virtual. That is why we define ourselves as a fintech, because we have developed an agile and secure system to respond to all requests virtually and by telephone 24 hours a day. Even so, in the short term, 11Onze will have a physical location, which we will call 11Onze House, where agents and members of the community will meet to chat, discuss projects and offer solutions. There, clients will be able to meet us whenever they need something more specific that requires this face-to-face presence,” explains De Castro.

 

Accompanying clients to walk together 

Since April, through La Plaça,  members of 11Onze have been able to meet and visualize everyone who constitute 11Onze. In the next few days, this relationship will intensify and agents will be personally attending our first clients. “Each client will be assigned a main agent and two on-call agents. If clients see agents at La Plaça for whom they have a good feelings and would like them to be their agent, they will also be able to request it. 11Onze is sized to be able to take on this level of personalised attention”, says the team leader.

But she adds that behind 11Onze there are not only agents and that, therefore, “not all the profiles we see in La Plaça will be assisting customers”. “Although our company culture is based on the idea that we are all agents, due to 11Onze’s talent management, former agents are now occupying other positions that are also necessary within the organisation”, she points out.

 

La Plaça, the community’s epicentre

La Plaça will continue to be 11Onze’s central place, and one of the key communication channels for clients. This space allows them to visualize people who are attending them on the other side of the phone or chat, and to find out what they are like, how they talk or what topics interest them most. “La Plaça recreates the memory of a conventional public square, where people meet to see each other, share, chat or drink a good coffee, while reading the newspaper. At our Plaça this is also what happens, albeit in a virtual way. The Plaça is designed very accurately so that you can find valuable information, new learning in many areas and also interact with our organisation in a direct, face-to-face way”, concludes de Castro.

To find out more about whom the agents are and to discover how was the learning process that led them here, we invite you to revive it through The Academy documentary.

Want an 11Onze account? Order batch in Get in line. With the code we’ll give you, you can open an account on October 1st.

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Forty years ago, four winemaking families joined forces to add value to their work and close the circle of cava and wine production. They are the first producers of biodynamic cava in the world.

 

Vins El Cep winery is located in the northern part of the Alt Penedès region, within the DO Cava for sparkling wines and the DO Penedès for still wines. The winery is located at Can Llopart de les Alzines estate in the Espiells area of Sant Sadurní d’Anoia. Theirs, is a story of neighbourliness, friendship and vindication of the work of the farmer, the winegrower who wants to add value to its work, and who wants to close the circle of cava and wine production.

Maite Esteve, partner and manager of Vins El Cep, represents one of the four families that founded Vins El Cep in 1980. They are now the second generation (three daughters of three different founding partners, plus one of the original founders). Maite defines the project as “a story of vineyards, wine and friendship”.

The four families have a long winemaking history, and one of them has documents dating back to 1448 that already mention vineyards on their property. “We come from viticulture. Forty years ago, the four friends decided to give value to their work, as grapes were not valued and the efforts made in the vineyard did not have an impact on the price paid for grapes. In fact,” she adds with concern, “this still hasn’t changed much”.

 

Caring for people and the environment

Maite proudly tells us that their innovative ways, always seeking natural balance, led them to introduce biodynamic techniques in the vineyard: “We were the first in the area to practice biodynamics and to bring out Claror, the first biodynamic cava in the world“. Although they were not the first to practise organic farming, they have been doing it for many years on their four estates, and she tells us that they did it for three reasons: “First, thinking about people who work the land and the vineyards; second, thinking about land and plants, to recover balance in nature, the biodiversity; and third, to obtain a quality product, as natural as possible”.

The introduction of organic crops is part of their philosophy of doing their bit in the face of the climate emergency which, she states, worries them. That is why a few years ago, they introduced the use of photovoltaic energy. “We have adapted our operation to the solar schedule. We live in a rural area, and we don’t have a very good electricity service, so we decided to use photovoltaic energy instead of a transformer. We produce all the energy we consume ourselves,” she says.

Great defenders of the territory

“We are from Espiells. The territory defines the product, and it is necessary to look after it, protect it and actively defend it”, says Maite Esteve, while she tells us that she is now president of the Associació Espiells Terra de Vi, which brings together 14 wineries, 32 inhabited historic farmhouses and a total of 3,000 hectares of vineyards, 80% of which are organically farmed. They created it to organise themselves and fight against the destruction of the territory.

Proximity to the metropolitan area means that the territory is under constant pressure from companies and infrastructures. “There are plans for the Quart Cinturó to come close. They want to install large industrial estates. We have to be on constant alert. The territory, the land of this area is what gives us our product, which we want, and we work for, to ensure that it is of the highest quality”, she claims. In fact, such defence of the territory seems to be gaining recognition as they will be part of the first specific agricultural plan in Catalonia.

The DO Cava has divided all areas where cava is made into zones and sub-zones. According to these divisions, Vins El Cep has its lands in the Valls Anoia-Foix sub-zone of the Barcelona Counties area. Maite Esteve describes how a bottle of Vins El Cep cava reflects all elements provided by the microclimate of the Espiells area, located between the Ordal and Montserrat massifs.

“The terroirs, small vineyards, hilly terrain, forests, streams, form a mosaic of different elements, which, together with small productions give us the quality products we are looking for. We are in an area that is one of the pearls of the Penedès”, she adds. The main variety they grow is Xarel-lo, one of the most traditional and identifiable within this area, which together with Macabeo and Parellada, are the base product of cava, although they have also been working for years with foreign varieties, such as pinot noir.

 

The landscape, what visitors value

“The landscape is one of the elements that tourists who visit the cellars value the most. In recent years, farmers in the area have been doing an exceptional job and we have got beautiful vineyards, which form part of this extraordinary landscape with the image of Montserrat mountain in the background”, Esteve asserts. Recently, Vins El Cep has introduced wine tourism and organises tours and activities. “Wine tourism is a way of making people know about our work first hand”. It is also a way for them to make their product be known by local customers, as 85% of their cava and wines are exported.

Vins El Cep was born out of some neighbours’ friendship and love for the work they did in the vineyards and which, over the last forty years, has been reflected in the cava and wines that come out from the cellar of Can Llopart de les Alzines.

 

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At 11Onze we want people to become financially empowered. You can start doing so with the series El Diner.

 

El Diner is an animated series that you can find in La Plaça, with the aim of explaining the world of economics in an entertaining and simple way. The series consists of nine chapters, with lessons such as “The history of money”, “The creation of money” and “The concentration of wealth”. At the end of each chapter, there is a questionnaire to check if we have understood all the concepts. But what is the definition of money and of the economy?

Money is the heart of our economy: it is the tool that enables us to exchange goods (the food we buy, a house, a computer, or a bicycle) and services (the time we pay for the time someone has spent doing something: a doctor, a lawyer, a schoolteacher, a mechanic…) by means of a currency. 

This currency usually takes the form of a material central currency (in the form of banknotes and coins, the money we can touch and carry in our wallets), also known as manual, liquid, or cash currency. These coins are manufactured at the European Central Bank (ECB), as well as enabling the economy to function. 

The other currency with which we can pay for goods and services is scriptural or secondary currency, i.e. our current account numbers, which do not exist physically and only exist within our bank’s computerised accounting system. This money is managed by private commercial banks, those that work directly with the public and that we find in our city or in our neighbourhood. They are the ones that distribute the coins and banknotes created by the ECB.

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Satisfying supply and demand

If we follow the lesson “Learn to evaluate the economy”, in the learning section of La Plaça, we will also understand why the economy is a system of distribution and management of limited resources to satisfy people’s demands

But the term economy goes beyond that, as we all contribute to making it possible. Our actions are reflected in what we consume, the hours we work, the goods we own, the money we can save. The sum of the actions taken individually by all citizens is the fate of the global economy. In other words, the economy is the result of our choices. 

We hope that this short introduction to the El Diner series, and the summary of its concepts, has made you want to learn about the economy and the world of finance. As they say: “In life, sometimes you win, sometimes you learn”.

 

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Next October 1st, 11Onze launches its super app. What is it going to allow you to do? What’s so special about it?

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James Sène, chairman of fintech 11Onze, shares his experience and insight on how we can address the challenges of cybersecurity in the age of Pegasus.

 

Tap and go, has become our latest mantra. Be it at a till in a shop, in a cafe or in a taxi, all we do these days is tap and go. What we do not think about is how this little tap could lead to paying for something we didn’t buy, losing all our savings to cyber criminals or worse, becoming a victim of identity theft. So far, the abuse of technology was limited to mainly monetary gains.

From national security to individual freedom, technology in the wrong hands is causing untold damage to our society. It is already robbing many of their savings and now threatening to steal our freedom.

The amount of money stolen by cyber criminals is staggering. To date, Americans have reported losing more than $469 million to pandemic-related fraud. In the U.K, businesses have lost over £6.2 million to cyber scams over the past year with a 31% increase in cases during the height of the pandemic.

In some European countries, cybercrime accounts for almost half of all crimes committed! Covid-19 has fanned the fire of cybercrimes by putting banks, fintechs and businesses across the globe on a backfoot. Infact, 2020 set the all-time-high record for cybercrime, fraud, and ID theft in the US and in Europe. No wonder 76 % of Europeans are increasingly worried about cybercrime!

Businesses big and small, and ordinary citizens young and old, have become victims of cybercrime. In the US, Colonial pipeline hit the headlines when it had shut down the entirety of its gasoline pipeline system in its 57-year history. Meanwhile, in Europe, some 800 Coop supermarket stores in Sweden were forced to close after point-of-sale tills and self-service checkouts stopped working. It was due to an ongoing cyber-attack affecting organisations around the world. The list goes on…

Cybercrime takes various forms. Hackers can steal your data, your identity to commit online fraud. You might end up paying a bill for something you never ordered. Everyday, thousands are bombarded by fake texts about online parcel deliveries “phishing” for bank details. Many lost their life savings to these criminal operations. Fake emails demanding bank details for tax refunds have become de rigueur. Even Covid-19 jabs related messaging is being used for cleaning out victims’ savings. “Authorised” fraud, where consumers are duped into transferring money to criminals, hit record levels in 2020, with £479m lost by nearly 150,000 victims.

Cybersecurity has become a national priority today. For banks and fintechs – who rely on offering a safe haven for financial security to their customers – it is imperative that they offer cyber security.

First and foremost, people have to be educated about cyber crimes and its various forms. Governments must take the lead here – like campaigns to cut obesity, they must run campaigns to educate people about cybercrime.

The European Union has developed a comprehensive cybersecurity policy which includes a cybersecurity law designed to enhance Europe’s cyber-resilience and a permanent EU Agency for cybersecurity.

Online fraud is a new event for most of us and they are much more difficult to avoid, especially for those who are not yet fully accustomed to the digital realm. How can we protect ourselves?

A few steps that we can take to avoid being victims of cybercrimes include keeping personal and private information secure on social media. Cybercriminals often get our personal information from a few data points, so the less information we share publicly, the better it is for us. It is best not to share information such as the name of our first school, pet or mother’s maiden name. Changing privacy settings on our social networks, for example, by setting the profile as private, or restricting the information that people that you have not added as contacts can see, helps.

Personal information theft can also occur when someone obtains your personal data in a way that involves fraud or deception, again, typically for economic gain. You might be tricked into giving personal information over the internet, or a cybercriminal might steal your post to access account information mailed to you. That’s why it’s important to guard your personal data. A VPN can also help to protect the data you send and receive online, especially when accessing the internet on public Wi-Fi.

New technologies are always vulnerable. Biometric data stored by a service provider could be hacked. It is just as valuable a target for cybercriminals as a database containing usernames and passwords. A password you can change but a fingerprint is yours for life. Any security breach resulting in leakage of this information is likely to have much more serious consequences than the theft of a password.

Therefore, it’s important that people are informed about the way biometric data is used and held, and under what circumstances it might be passed on to other agencies. Also, this technology should be used as a secondary protection method that complements other security measures rather than replaces them completely, for obvious reasons.

I understand that fighting cybercrime is everyone’s business. For most people, that means following a few simple, common-sense steps to help keep yourself and your family safer.

But that doesn’t mean that banks and governments should not be held accountable for either misuse of power or a lack of investment in a robust security system. In the UK, a majority of banks have adopted a voluntary code to refund “no fault” victims of such crimes, but the number of victims who managed to get any money back can be as low as 30 percent in some banks! As technology moves and shifts, we too need to understand, adapt and ensure our safety.

It is inevitable that we will see more of Pegasus’ eroding our trust in technology but I believe we will also find our Bellerophons to combat the cyber criminals.

 

Want an 11Onze account? Order batch in Get in line. With the code we’ll give you, you can open an account on October 1st.

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At 11Onze we are not just creating a fintech. We are forging a community that will be key to achieving financial sovereignty, individually and collectively. “If we come together, we will be stronger,” says 11Onze CEO James Sène. We review with him what we mean by fincom and how it is key to empower ourselves.

 

We have invented a new term because we are doing something new, which did not exist until now: a financial community. “The word fincom comes from the contraction of fintech and community. We are starting a new model, but we are not doing it alone,” Sène begins. The idea, he goes on to explain, is inspired by a type of bank that is born around a community, especially in the United States, where they are known to bring together certain communities, such as African-Americans.

Inspired by these financial initiatives, however, the 11Onze community has gone further. The difference, Sène explains, lies in the ownership of the financial institution. “None of these community projects are driven by the community itself. In contrast, at 11Onze we expand the ownership of the institution as much as possible. We have more than 150 investors, and we are striving to reach as many people as possible. All of them will be the owners of 11Onze. And this is very important. In Catalonia we share a language, a lifetime, a culture, and now we want to help this community build its financial sovereignty,” he sums up.

A community that learns how to learn

The model is pioneering and necessary. In a globalised world, which is undergoing changes that will alter the world’s poles of influence in the coming years, citizens have to learn to build a strong social and cultural fabric, as well as an economic one. “Until now, there has been a very clear leadership of the United States, but all this is beginning to falter with competition from China and Asian countries. Europe is falling in the middle. There are no countries independent of each other. We need each other in order to protect our communities. That’s why the big question we ask ourselves in 11Onze: on whom do we want to depend, and how do we want to depend on them?

If Catalonia wants to answer this question, says Sène, it first needs to exercise the freedom, the right to choose “what we want to be and how we want to be it”. And this, consequently, has to do with how we manage our money, with how we achieve our financial sovereignty. Therefore, if 11Onze wants to be a useful tool, it has to build a community that is encouraged to learn how the market works and how to navigate, financially speaking. It is in this sense that we have created La Plaça, where there is a team of 11Onze agents who will attend to users 24 hours a day, and why we have created the El Canut application. Everything serves the same objective.

Sène sums it up bluntly: “We have a plan at the service of a vision that has to serve the needs of today, but also respond to what we expect to happen in the world in five years’ time. That is why we are thinking about the community, the financial application, and a marketplace, a place where people can not only exchange ideas, but also, in the end, exchange products. Ultimately, says Sène, “if we have a financial nexus, this will make us more competitive, individually and collectively”.

 

Revolutionising banking from the bottom up

Thus, says the president of 11Onze, “when we make a profit, part of this profit will go back to the community and the other part will go to the investors or members of this community”. To make this possible, it is essential, says Sène, “to have absolute control of our finances, that is to say, of money, but also of assets, shares, precious metals or cryptocurrencies”. That is why El Canut is a new technology created to revolutionise traditional banking. “Now, everyone has all these assets spread across different accounts. And we have created a wallet of wallets that will empower you to manage all your finances in a single place. You have to be able to manage them quickly, easily, and securely,” says Sène.

In view of the expectation generated by El Canut, the president of 11Onze, however, appeals for calm. At 11Onze we are well aware that most of the community are not experts in banking and that we will have to learn, little by little and together, the best way to give a return on everyone’s money. For this reason, El Canut will slowly announce and expand its services. “It is not expected that on 1 October, when we open the first 5,000 accounts, everyone will be able to operate all at once in an unknown financial market. We have to be patient,” argues Sène.

“We are here to ensure the financial well-being of the Catalan Countries and to promote Catalan culture. We are here to give individual financial independence in order to achieve collective financial independence”, the president of 11Onze reaffirms. In short, the time has come for people to learn how to manage their assets in the best possible way. 11Onze is the tool to do so; it is one of the pillars for exercising all freedoms.

 

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PSD2 is the European directive that regulates electronic payment services in the euro area. The new regulation, which updates the one from 2007, introduces strong measures in the field of cybersecurity. 11Onze will be guided by this directive. We explain its advantages to through agent Jordi Oller.

The new PSD2 directive came into force in Spain in December 2020, following the approval of Royal Decree-Law 19/2018 on payment services. This regulation sets out the rights and obligations of both institutions and customers with regard to payment services. “It seeks to meet the security needs in a context of strong technological advances in the field of e-commerce,” Oller explains.

PSD2, therefore, regulates all payment transfers, direct debits, card payments and other banking transactions in Europe, and aims to make all payment services in the financial sector more transparent, more competitive and more innovative.

 

Protecting ourselves from cyber-attacks

First, PSD2 introduces strong measures in the field of cybersecurity. Among other things, a double authentication or reinforced authentication when allowing banking transactions, a procedure that substantially reduces the risk of identity theft. It is for this purpose that financial services institutions have to offer their customers an API, i.e. an Application Programming Interface. “The new APIs give flexibility, simplify design and use and allow innovation in new services,” says our agent 11Onze. At the same time, these financial institutions have to share information with other companies, as long as they have the customer’s consent.

In addition, now, with PSD2, companies cannot access customers’ sensitive financial data. And banks have to establish account access, the so-called XS2A, which is popularly known as open banking, because they are obliged to provide the necessary interfaces so that people can access their account data, provided they have given their consent. “So, for example, users can view all their accounts in one place or make online payments by bank transfer,” Oller explains. You may have read it at La Plaça. From October 1st, 11Onze’s interface will be El Canut, a state-of-the-art application, a digital wallet where you can make all kinds of different transactions and manage several accounts at the same time. 

The new PSD2 also offers solutions to ensure that transferring of sensitive data, via APIs, is carried out without any risk for the client and that data protection is guaranteed by two different means: the QWAC certificate and the QSealC certificate. For online transactions, therefore, it is no longer sufficient to ask for the customer’s debit or credit card, but a double authentication (Strong Customer Authentication, or SCA) is also required. In short, at least two of the following three factors are required for a transaction to take place:

  • What the client has, such as a debit/credit card or mobile phone.
  • What the client knows, e.g. a bank password or a PIN that is sent to the mobile phone.
  • Who the client is, i.e. an ID, be it a fingerprint or facial recognition, some biometric identification parameter.

Less fraud, better online shopping

All in all, PSD2 makes e-commerce much safer, because it prevents fraud through stolen or duplicate cards and avoids chargebacks. In addition, it also makes online shopping more user-friendly. “It facilitates authentication processes, thanks to biometric identification parameters or mobile payments instead of card payments,” explains our agent 11Onze.

Last but not least, PSD2 provides incentives to reduce the costs of online transactions. “It frees up access to banking interfaces, and allows more companies to compete in this payment ecosystem,” Oller concludes. It should be noted, however, that only transactions where the card issuer is European, i.e. from the 27 EU countries, or where the acquirer, or the financial institution that processes the transaction on behalf of the merchant, are also European, will be subject to PSD2. Undoubtedly, what is clear is that with 11Onze you are going to be secure.

 

Want an 11Onze account? Order batch in Get in line. With the code we’ll give you, you can open an account on October 1st.

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The international media, especially those covering fintechs and new banking, have picked up on the announcement of the launch of El Canut, 11Onze’s application that will go live on 1 October and allow the first 5,000 accounts to operate freely in the European banking market.

 

The press explains how Catalonia’s first fintech community will offer customers the possibility of having all their bank accounts grouped together in one place and will enable, thanks to El Canut, users to manage all their payments, transfers, savings, and loans from one app or one login: a single bank account. They also explain that, in order to offer its products, 11Onze has partnered with leading innovative technology companies, such as the American company Episode Six and the British company Weavr. Below are some published articles:

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Economic independence means that you don’t depend on anyone or anything to live”. Plain and simple. That’s how clear our financial director, Oriol Tafanell, is. We follow, step by step, his advice, and we answer how the 11Onze community will reach it.

First, however, we need to ask ourselves why it is so important to empower ourselves. “Economic independence allows you to decide what you want to do in life and this, even though we often separate the heart from the brain, makes you emotionally stronger,” Tafanell says right at the start. With financial independence, we forget the stresses, the nerves, the sleepless nights and the anguish. Economic independence, then, is first built individually, and then we struggle to achieve it collectively. Let’s see it!

 

Three tips for individual emancipation

  1. Make a budget. Our CFO is concise: “The most basic thing is to make a budget, to know what income you get and what expenses you have,” he says. If the income is not enough to pay all the expenses, the most logical thing to do is to reduce the latter. And he gives an example: “If you have made a budget thinking that you will pay a rent of 1,000 euros a month, but then you add clothes, food, supplies, and it is not enough, maybe you have to see if the rent you have is too high. If you get obsessed, or you know you can’t reduce the expense in any way, you have to look at how to get more money.” For Tafanell, it is very important to know how much money we have, how we manage it and, for this reason, he considers an application like the one 11Onze’s clients will have, El Canut, to be essential: “People will have the possibility of seeing where and how their money is, they will learn how to manage it, how to move financially. It’s a tool,” he says.
  2. Force yourself to save. Even if you have achieved a stable balance between income and expenses, Tafanell recommends that income should always exceed expenses, for one simple reason: uncertainty. “You have to be able to deal with shocks, and in life they happen all the time: because you lose your job, because your fridge breaks down… Any situation can cause a crisis. Then, what will really make you financially independent is that your income allows you to save,” he says. 
  3. Detail what you have to spend the money on. Finally, our financial director reminds us that each stage of life has to set savings priorities. “So, when you are young, if you study thanks to your family, it is important to work to save. Later, you live as a couple, you have children, or you build a career path, and savings are used to be able to pay for what’s coming up. And, in the end, when we are old, we have to invest our savings in a good pension plan, in retirement,” Tafanell says. The key, according to him, is to do “a little bit every day, to maintain discipline throughout your life.

 

The five objectives for collective empowerment

  1. Reduce debt. “Today, with the economic situation we have, if you are young, you have to study and work, and save. In cities like Barcelona, paying rent is practically impossible. This must change, it is clear. A universal income? In a country like ours, although we would like it, we have to forget about it,” admits our chief financial officer. And he reminds us that “Spain is a country with a high deficit”. “If collective economic independence is to maintain the expenses and income of a country, we cannot get into debt. And in Spain, indebtedness grows and grows, everything goes to pay interest,” he explains.
  2. Solidarity means paying taxes. For that reason, it is essential, according to Tafanell, “to be very supportive”. “That means that no one works under the table and that everyone pays taxes,” he summarizes. On a large scale, it means avoiding tax evasion and tax havens. “It’s unsupportive, and all it makes is sinking the country’s collective economy.” In fact, the more people pay taxes, Tafanell explains, the less taxes we will have to pay. 
  3. Continue to educate the world. “There is too much capital that does not pay money. This has to stop,” he says, and the comment inevitably leads him to talk about the business culture of Mediterranean countries, which he sums up with the saying: “The law is made, the trap is made”. “It can’t be that the first thing we think about is how to sneak around, how to make the most of the system. Everyone makes a thousand and one tricks,” says our CFO with his gentle demeanor. Picaresque, he says, means that the unemployment rate has reached 25%, as it has during the pandemic, and there is no revolt. For this reason, he considers the reflection and debate that the 11Onze community proposes in La Plaza to be essential. “And from here, to continue educating. We can help, for sure. That is why we have created a financial community,” he says. 
  4. Rebuilding the economic network. Precisely, the community that 11Onze is patiently building is the key to rebuilding a Catalan economic network that, Tafanell confesses, “practically no longer exists”. “In Catalonia we were very proud to be a country of entrepreneurs, but the second and third generations of managers sold all the successful companies to multinationals, who don’t care whether the headquarters are in Catalonia or Mozambique,” laments the financial director. Moreover, instead of investing the money from these sales in innovation and development, it has gone into real estate and speculation. 
  5. Defining our community. The last objective for achieving economic independence is, therefore, to define very clearly what our community is. “If it is only the territory of Catalonia, and we do not have to drag the deficit of the whole of Spain along with us, the power we have to build ourselves economically is impressive,” he says. And he concludes: “The independence of Catalonia is a dream, yes, but I believe it is achievable. We have to prepare people for when it is possible. How? Less words. We have to take to the streets”.

 

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The new draft National Security Law opens up the possibility that the Spanish government can seize citizens’ money and assets in the event of an economic crisis, but can this and other state laws condition savings in European accounts? We are speaking to Aina Ansó, from 11Onze’s legal department.

One of the distinguishing features of El Canut is the possibility of opening and managing accounts with a European IBAN, not just Spanish. This function gives people control over their savings and offers a wide range of possibilities that can favour the day-to-day management of bank accounts, but also the security and liquidity of savings. Aina Ansó, from the legal department of 11Onze, gives us the keys to understanding how having bank accounts in European countries affects us.

 

Our savings, out of Spain’s reach?

The first question to be answered is whether having an account abroad means that it is out of Spain’s reach. Ansó explains that, effectively, “it does mean that it is outside the reach of the State in the tax sphere, as long as the amount of this account does not exceed 50,000 euros”. Above this figure, it will be necessary to account for the taxation of money located outside Spain.

In this case, the Tax Agency must be informed by filing form 720. Likewise, if foreign transactions exceed one million euros, the Bank of Spain must also be informed by means of the Foreign Transactions Survey. This applies to both individuals and entities resident in Spain,” explains Ansó. In order to manage our assets properly and dispel any doubts, she also recommends seeking advice. In any case, whether the 50,000 euros are exceeded or not, citizens will continue to file their tax returns to the country where they are fiscally resident.

 

In search of European protection

The debate about the protection of our savings is complex, and the key to this issue lies in who has the power. In this sense, Spanish citizens are increasingly concerned about the draft bill approved by the Council of Ministers on 22 June, which reforms Law 36/2015 of September 28 about National Security.

“The initial objective, as it had to be done since 2016, was to specify what resources the Spanish government can use in a situation of national security interest. In other words, what specific intervention the state can carry out in the event of a crisis, be understood as a situation that compromises the country’s security”. An intervention that, as Ansó points out, cannot yet be firmly established: “In order to know whether a European account can finally be seized, we will have to wait for the definitive text, although, given all precedents, the final wording could be so ambiguous that we will not be able to know its real scope”.

However, in statements to 11Onze, the lawyer Arcadi Sala-Planell dares to predict that “this law would not apply if the client has the money in a foreign bank, because Spain has no powers outside its territory, and this is a state law. Therefore, to intervene the central bank [of another country] it would have to be a European law”. “It would be a scandal,” he adds.

Control of our savings

Given the draft bill, it is clear that having our money outside Spain can give us more protection on our savings, but why does it protect us more? What differentiates Spain from other European countries? Ansó points out that “if we take into account how other European Union countries operate in relation to national security issues, it is true that most of these countries demand rigorous parliamentary control, whereas in Spain’s case it is only the National Security Council that is going to decide”.

Incidentally, a Security Council made up by the president of the government, the vice-president, some ministers and other authorities, such as the chief of the Defence Staff, the Secretary of state for security, the Director of the National Intelligence Centre, the Director of the Cabinet of the Presidency of the Government and the Secretary of state for foreign affairs, according to the draft bill to which El País had access.

 

Covered by European legislation

Fintech money protection system is governed by Directive 2015/2366 of the European Parliament and Council from November 25, 2015 on payment services in the internal market. This regulation, says Ansó, “requires customer funds to be separated from the e-money company and deposited in a separate account at a credit institution”.

However, as the legal expert points out, “this money could also be used to invest in safe, liquid and low-risk assets”. “But one must bear in mind that the e-money company is obliged to take out an insurance, or some other comparable guarantee, to cover the amount equivalent to the funds, in case the e-money company goes bankrupt,” she adds.

This European directive, in fact, is in line with the legislation that credit entities must comply with to insure up to 100,000 euros per deposit, a fact which seeks legal guarantees for customers in relation to their savings.

 

Want an 11Onze account? Order batch in Get in line. With the code we’ll give you, you can open an account on October 1st.

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