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Office of Competition and Consumer Protection

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Statutory credit holidays - banks under scrutiny of UOKiK

< previous | next > 12.08.2020

Statutory credit holidays - banks under scrutiny of UOKiK
  • A consumer who has lost their job or other main source of income may suspend the repayment of the credit for three months - this solution has been introduced by the provisions of the so-called Anti-Crisis Shield 4.0.
  • President of UOKiK Tomasz Chróstny verifies whether and how banks implement this protective measure. The explanatory proceedings have been pending towards 26 banks.

The Anti-Crisis Shield 4.0. introduced consumer protection against the adverse aftermath of COVID-19. One of the solutions adopted in the package is the possibility to suspend the execution of the credit agreement, the so-called "statutory credit holidays", which provide consumers with the right to suspend the repayment of a loan for a period of up to 3 months, without charging any interest and other fees. This solution is available to anyone who has lost their job or other main source of income as a result of the pandemic.

- Complaints received by the UOKiK, inter alia from the Stop Bankowemu Bezprawiu Association (Stop Banking Lawlessness), indicate that banks may hinder or even prevent consumers from exercising this right. A consumer applying to a bank for statutory credit holidays, even if they meet the conditions, may not be offered this option and may not be fully informed of the conditions for suspension of instalments. According to the feedback we receive, the customers may happen not to receive any information or confirmation of the conditions of the suspension of the contract, but they are only encouraged to use the bank memorandum – explains President of UOKiK Tomasz Chróstny.

It appears from the information obtained by UOKiK that, in a number of instances, consumers only receive an offer to take advantage of the bank's costly credit memorandum also when they apply for statutory, free credit holidays and meet the statutory criteria for granting them. Statutory credit holidays were adopted for the benefit of households that were particularly affected by the economic consequences of the pandemic. They have been included in the anti-crisis shield as one of the important solutions to protect consumers on the financial market.

- I have initiated an explanatory investigation in this case - we will check whether there are any irregularities both in the terms and conditions of offering statutory credit holidays and in the manner in which 26 banks inform about this solution. If the alarming reports submitted to the Office are confirmed, I will seek legal consequences against those banks which, in offering solutions that are favourable to them, have infringed the interests and rights of consumers – announces President of UOKiK Tomasz Chróstny.

Consumers who have encountered problems with the suspension of the execution of their credit agreement pursuant to the provisions of the Act contained in the anti-crisis shield 4.0 are encouraged to inform us via e-mail [SCODE]bW9uaXRvcmluZ0B1b2tpay5nb3YucGw=[ECODE].

Statutory credit holidays – consumers, please remember that you have the right to:

  • Suspension of the execution of the credit agreement to repay consumer loan, mortgage loan and credit loan within the meaning of Article 69 of the Act of 29 August 1997 – Banking Law; this applies both to the principal and interest. During that period, the lender will not be able to charge any other fees, except for premiums for insurance contract connected with the loan agreement.
  • Suspension of the execution of the credit agreement - eligible are consumers who lost their job or other main source of income after March 13th of this year.
  • The credit agreement performance may be suspended for a maximum period of 3 months. The credit period and all other terms provided for in the credit agreement will be extended accordingly by the suspension period.
  • If the consumer was previously granted a credit suspension on commercial terms and conditions by the bank - the consumer is also entitled to apply for a statutory credit holidays - then, upon receipt of the consumer's application, the bank is obliged to grant statutory credit holidays and discontinue the commercial holidays it has previously granted.

Consumer support:

Phone: +48 801 440 220 or +48 22 290 89 16 – consumer helpline
E-mail: [SCODE]cG9yYWR5QGRsYWtvbnN1bWVudG93LnBs[ECODE]
Consumer ombudsmen – in your city/town or district
Regional Consumer Centres: Phone: +48 22 299 60 90 – Dlakonsumenta.pl

Additional information for the media:

UOKiK Press Office
Pl. Powstańców Warszawy 1, 00-950 Warszawa, Poland
Phone +48 695 902 088, +48 22 55 60 246
E-mail: [SCODE]Yml1cm9wcmFzb3dlQHVva2lrLmdvdi5wbA==[ECODE]
Twitter: @UOKiKgovPL

Attached files

 

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