Relevant opinions in the mBank case
The President of the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection (UOKiK) has presented four further opinions in the present case. The opinions in question pertain to the dispute between mBank and consumers who had taken out mortgage loans indexed to the Swiss franc.
The President of UOKiK has presented four further opinions. Two of them were issued in connection with the proceedings pending before the Regional Court in Łódź, while the others pertain to the proceedings before the Regional Court in Warsaw. Consumers have challenged a number of clauses pertaining to the determination of the grounds for interest rate change (Łódź, case no. III Ca 775/16 and III Ca 1588/16), the indexation of loan amount and loan payments (Łódź, case no. III Ca 775/16; Warsaw, case no. II C 340/16) as well as the low down payment insurance (Warsaw, case no. II C 340/16 and I C 318/16). As a consequence, the consumers have filed applications with UOKiK. The Competition Authority has examined the impugned provisions and found the following violations:
Clauses specifying the grounds for interest rate change:
- according to the wording of these clauses, interest rate change may take place in certain situations, which makes it possible for the bank to make arbitrary decisions in this regard,
- the clauses in question contain an excessively vague description of the factors having an impact on loan interest rate change,
- the clauses in question fail to specify the degree in which such factors shall have an impact on interest rate increase or decrease,
- the clauses in question fail to specify the time frame in which the bank shall be entitled to change the interest rates.
- among other things, these clauses make it impossible for the consumers to find out about the basis on which mBank determines the indexation rate.
Low down payment insurance clauses:
- the provisions in question contain no information for the borrowers as to the terms and conditions of insurance, the scope thereof or the manner of calculation of the applicable fees by the relevant undertaking,
- the provisions in question impose the duty to bear the cost on the consumer, although the wording of the said provisions does not make it clear who shall in fact be the beneficiary under the insurance policy,
- the provisions in question fail to provide the borrowers with information on the possible risk that the insurer may claim the repayment of any damages paid to the bank,
- the provisions in question contain no statements as to the actual costs of insurance, the manner in which the borrower is supposed to bear such costs or what the borrower is actually paying for.
The Competition Authority held that the clauses challenged by the consumers are both unlawful and inconsistent with acceptable practices.