Business Ethics,

Case Study
He calls himself Robin Bank and acts as the self-appointed avenger of
downtrodden loan defaulters and all poor victims of the global financial
meltdown. Like his hero Robin Hood, Spanish outlaw Enric Duran steals
from the rich and gives, if not to the poor, at least to the activist groups
who are sworn enemies of the banking system. Yesterday Duran
circulated 200,000 copies of a single-issue free newspaper called Crisis to
show how he had spent the past two years fooling banks into lending him
nearly half a million euros (about £395,000). He said he had given it all
away to social activists or spent it on the newspaper. He is refusing to
pay the money back and daring the banks to get him sent to jail.
“If we include interest on arrears the present amount of debt is over
€500,000, which I will not pay,” he said.
As Duran, 32, went into hiding, copies of the newspaper were being
handed out by friends and relatives to commuters at dozens of metro and
railway stations in his home city of Barcelona.
Friends said he had fled the country earlier this week. News of his
exploits caught Spain’s high street banks, consumer finance houses and
building societies by surprise. They were busy yesterday checking their
loan portfolios to see whether Duran was on the list.
He has provided a list of all the 39 banks he took loans from. They
include one bank, Cetelem that gave him five loans. The police and the
local attorney general’s office said they had not yet started looking for
Duran as they were waiting for one of the banks to lodge a formal
request for him to be found. Duran said he had raised the loans partly by
setting up a false television production company. He paid back some of
the early loans to ensure he had a good credit rating but stopped paying
them all earlier this year.
He had started out by getting personal loans but eventually used a
company name to avoid being placed on a list of bad debtors. A small
businesses office of the regional Catalan government unwittingly helped
him raise at least one of the loans, according to reports yesterday. Most
of the money had been donated to social activism groups.
“What could be better than robbing the ones who rob us and distributing
the money among the groups which are denouncing this situation and
building alternatives?” he asked.
Bankers reacted angrily. “It is not permissible for someone to laugh [at
the system] like this,” Jordi Mestre, director general of the Caixa Sabadell
savings bank, told the Europa Press news agency.
Other banks said they would have no trouble writing off the lost money.
“Even if it is confirmed that he took €31,000, it won’t mean anything to
us,” said a spokesman for Bankinter.
Duran posted a video interview of himself on the internet yesterday.
“It has been an individual disobedience action against banking that I have
carried out to denounce the banking system,” he said.
“Banks need to grant loans because that is the main way for them to get
profits. It is a wheel that will not stop until the system comes to a
standstill. As individuals, instead of helping the wheel to roll by asking for
loans we have the opportunity and responsibility of making things difficult
for this system.”
The social activist could face a prison term of up to six years if convicted.
“When I started this action I was already prepared for that possibility,” he
said.

Answer the question after reading the case study: Was Enric Duran acting ethically? Why?