UOKiK: Idea Bank has to give money back for using misselling
The Office for Competition and Consumer Protection has issued a decision concerning Idea Bank, stating the use of the so-called misselling. The Authority has no doubt that GetBack corporate bonds should not have been offered to consumers by Idea Bank. This is demonstrated by evidence collected in the proceedings, including materials obtained during inspections.
UOKiK determined that the bank should know and take into account the investment preferences of clients to whom it offered bonds, e.g. based on the history of products previously activated in the bank or based on information provided by consumers to sellers. Unfortunately, instead of presenting an offer that met these clients’ needs, the bank took advantage of their ignorance to sell a risky investment product, ie. corporate bonds.
“Idea Bank offered its clients high-risk products that did not match their needs in any way. The illicit practice of misselling was confirmed by collected evidence, including hundreds of consumer complaints. Corporate bonds were offered even to those clients who had never dealt with investment products and were not interested in them, and kept their savings in bank deposits. The practice is all the more reprehensible because the wronged parties also include the elderly”, explains Tomasz Chróstny, President of UOKiK.
The decision imposes an obligation on Idea Bank to pay compensation to the consumers who purchased Getback bonds via the bank. The decision sets out detailed rules for calculating the amount of refunds. The model adopted by UOKiK assumes that every bondholder who submits an appropriate request will receive compensation equal to 20% of invested funds, calculated for an amount of up to PLN 50,000. This is the amount the consumers - as a rule - had to invest in GetBack bonds under one issue to participate in it. In such a situation, the compensation due to the consumer against the misselling used by the bank will amount to PLN 10,000.
The bank must inform about the UOKiK’s decision on its website by publishing a statement with the content specified in the decision. In addition, each wronged party must receive the information by post. The President of UOKiK demanded the bank to pay compensation within 1 month of receiving the relevant request from the consumer. Detailed terms are specified in the decision.