Kancelaria Prawna Proculus (Proculus Law Firm) acted as an intermediary in borrowing money. Its offer was addressed mainly to people with no creditworthiness who needed money to repay previously incurred debts. Consumer complaints indicated that in consequence of borrowing money through Kancelaria Prawna Proculus, consumers faced even greater financial difficulties. The President of the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection determined that the company had violated the principles of decency.
“The actions of the employees of Proculus had a single aim: to encourage as many people as possible to conclude financial intermediation agreements, as they charged a commission for that. The greater the amount, the greater the fee, which is why Proculus solicited consumers to borrow more money than they would be able to repay,” says Marek Niechciał, President of UOKiK.
- Excessive commissions which did not correspond to the work performed by Proculus. The intermediary undertook to search for financial offers, which cost customers approx. 20% of the amount of the loan. Employees of Proculus charged a commission even when all of the activities were performed by the bank or no agreement was concluded. Sometimes clients paid both to Proculus and to the bank.
- Soliciting consumers to borrow more money than they would be able to repay later on. Proculus employees manipulated information in such a way that the ultimate borrowed amounts were more than the consumers would be able to repay or needed. As a consequence, Proculus received high commissions while clients faced even greater financial difficulties.
- Blank promissory notes without the required “non-endorsable” clause. Promissory notes secure claims of the lender and repayment of debt, but they must indicate the amount and contain the “non-endorsable” clause. Proculus could write any amount on the note and transfer the claim to another person.
The President of UOKiK decided that Kancelaria Prawna Proculus had violated the principles of decency. The amount of penalty imposed amounts to nearly PLN 3 mln.