In January, Santander became the first -- and so far, only -- bank to offer to return some of the money lost by clients in the fraud. The bank said it would give victims the value of their original investments in the form of preferred stock paying an annual interest rate of 2%. But lawyers representing some of the clients affected have dismissed the offer as inadequate.
Now, in an effort to close the door on the affair, the bank's representatives have been offering a series of incentives to their best clients to get them to sign up to the deal.
Some wealthy clients are being given the possibility to use the preferred shares as collateral for a loan charging 3% annual interest. The loan, which can amount to 85% of the clients' original investment in Madoff funds, can be taken by clients in cash, or re-invested in bonds paying 6% interest, say investors who have received the revised offer.