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Reasoned opinion – summary of UOKiK activities

Reasoned opinion – summary of UOKiK activities

Dodano: 2017-07-25
Publikator: The Office of Competition and Consumer Protection

Last year’s amendment to the Act on competition and consumer protection has given the UOKiK a new set of tools for the protection of vulnerable market participants. One of these tools is the possibility of presenting the courts with reasoned opinions with respect to pending proceedings in which consumers are involved.

Previously, both the Financial Ombudsman and various civic organisations enjoyed the power to issue reasoned opinions.

By the end of June 2017, the UOKiK received over 270 requests for issuing a reasoned opinion with respect to pending judicial proceedings. In response to the said requests, more than 100 opinions have been presented. The vast majority of them were related to mortgage loans denominated in Swiss francs, with the relevant consumer disputes pertaining, among other things, the manner in which the interest rate was calculated, currency exchange rates or low down payment insurance clauses. Some of the reasoned opinions pertained to cancellation fees applied in Unit-Linked Insurance Plan (ULIP) contracts.

“An increase in the number of consumer cases pending before the common courts of law is, without a doubt, an immense challenge for the entire justice system. The power to present a reasoned opinion in a given case allows us not only to reinforce the position of consumers, but also to contribute towards the unification of the existing case law” says Marek Niechciał, President of the UOKiK. “There are other areas outside the financial and insurance sectors in which there are many unresolved disputes between consumers and businesses. We will strive to present further reasoned opinions in all such cases” Mr Niechciał adds.

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