Almost PLN 5 million fine for high costs of bank statements for consumers
The President of the Office of the Competition and Consumer Protection has recognised that the provisions applied by Deutsche Bank Polska concerning the mechanism for calculating fees for the issuance of the credit repayment record statement are abusive clauses. The bank has been imposed a fine of almost PLN 5 million.
The office questioned the manner in which Deutsche Bank Polska has been charging fees for the issuance of credit-related statements (in particular the ones concerning the repayment record), which related the amount of the fees due to the period covered by the statement. This fee would have increased with each subsequent year requested by the consumer, resulting in very high costs for borrowers, especially in the case of mortgages that have been repaid for many years. On many occasions, the consumer would need several certificates and/or statements from the bank, which significantly increased the costs due.
UOKiK has also received complaints about the high fees that banks charge on this account, especially in the case of mortgage loans in Swiss francs. This fee could have amounted to as much as PLN 2 thousand per single statement.
The statements relating to, inter alia, the debt repayment record or accrued interest are required by those who intend to seek, for example, the annulment of the agreement or the reimbursement of unduly charged instalments in court. On their basis it is possible to determine the amount claimed from the bank.
The President of the Office examined the templates of contracts that provide for such fees and issued a first decision in this case against Deutsche Bank Polska. The fine imposed on this bank amounted to almost PLN 5 million.
– The contractual terms that we have contested are detrimental primarily to the economic interests of consumers. As a result, high fees may have discouraged borrowers from pursuing their rights before the courts in cases of abusive clauses in foreign currency loans. The bank, which should be perceived by consumers as a public trust institution, should not take advantage of its position towards consumers – says Tomasz Chróstny, the President of UOKiK.
President of UOKiK Tomasz Chróstny recognised that the provisions applied by Deutsche Bank Polska are abusive clauses and prohibited the use thereof. He charged the bank with a financial fine of almost PLN 5 million (PLN 4 913 850). The persons who applied for the issuance of statements and paid the required fee shall receive letters from DBP with information on the decision of UOKiK. This information will also be available on the website of the bank.
The President of UOKiK continues the explanatory proceedings against the other banks which apply excessive fees for credit repayment records.