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Office of Competition and Consumer Protection

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Reasoned opinion - summary of UOKiK activities

< previous | next > 18.07.2017

Reasoned opinion - summary of UOKiK activities
  • With more than 100 reasoned opinions issued in cases pending before courts of law which involve consumer interests, it has certainly been a productive period for the UOKiK.
  • Most of the reasoned opinions issued pertained to mortgage loans denominated in CHF as well as to unit-linked life insurance policies.
  • The President of UOKiK may issue a reasoned opinion where doing so is considered to be in the public interest.

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 the 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 the 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.

Reasoned opinions – the rules

A reasoned opinion in a given case is a written opinion of the President of UOKiK in which it presents its arguments and views which are relevant to the given consumer dispute pending before a court of law. A reasoned opinion may pertain to any case in which a consumer is a party, not just to loans or unit-linked insurance plans.

In order for the President of the UOKiK to be able to present a reasoned opinion, it must first be determined that the given case pertains to competition and consumer protection and, secondly, that issuing an opinion would be in the public interest. Both of the above prerequisites must occur jointly.

In each given case, the President of UOKiK performs an assessment of the factual and legal circumstances of the case, the applicable case law as well as the application filed by the claimants. For the above reason, the legal assessment presented by the Competition Authority may not be applied to any other cases, even where such cases are ostensibly similar.

The President of UOKiK may present a reasoned opinion at his own initiative, at the request of the consumer or undertaking, or at the request of the court. All of the reasoned opinions issued by the Competition Authority shall be published on our website on an ongoing basis. In addition, information on some of them is provided in our press releases.

Additional information for the media:

Press Office of the UOKiK
Pl. Powstańców Warszawy 1, 00-950 Warszawa
Phone: 695 902 088
Email: [SCODE]Yml1cm9wcmFzb3dlQHVva2lrLmdvdi5wbA==[ECODE]

Twitter: @UOKiKgovPL

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