UOKiK made the first decision about consumer loans after the judgment of CJEU
The Office of Competition and Consumer Protection (UOKiK) issued its first decision in the case of early repayment of consumer loans. Several days before the Court of Justice of the EU had issued a judgement in this area.
The fined company granted consumer loans. If clients repaid before the due date, the company did not reimburse a proportional share of the preparation fee when settling accounts with its customers. Whereas in such situations the law requires creditors to reduce all costs of the loan in proportion to the duration of the shortened loan agreement. If they have already charged such fees, they should reimburse them to consumers. It does not matter when such charges were applied or whether they were linked to the duration of the loan agreement. This interpretation has recently been confirmed by the CJEU. Read more: CJEU ruled about paying off consumer loans ahead of schedule
UOKiK has ordered the company to immediately stop charging customers who have repaid their loan early with the full amount of the preparation fee. The company has to do this even if it submits an appeal to court. In addition, it has to notify all borrowers who have repaid a loan early after 16 May 2016 about UOKiK’s decision. It must inform them in writing or electronically that they can make a complaint. If they do so, the company will refund the overpaid part of the preparation fee within 30 days, as ordered by the Office.
“On our part, there is no consent for banks and other institutions granting consumer loans to violate the law. After the judgement of the CJEU, there is no longer any doubt as to how to interpret the provisions. We expect that in the event of early repayment, businesses will reduce all loan costs proportionally and reimburse them to borrowers. We are counting on them to do so also in relation to past agreements. We will monitor the market and impose penalties for violation of consumer rights”, says Marek Niechciał, the President of UOKiK.
More than 20 companies from the financial sector, which do not make settlements with customers in the event of early loan repayment, have already received charges from the Office. In addition, 8 investigations are ongoing and are at an early stage, while further cases will be initiated on an ongoing basis.