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October 22, 2021

Consumer watchdog fines banks with a total RON 1.6 M in just one month

The National Authority for Consumers’ Protection (ANPC) enforced fines worth over RON 1.6 M in total, following the problems found at some of the 344 bank branches and offices where it checked the situation of consumer loan contracts. In February, ANPC verified if the consumer loan contracts – with and without mortgage – operated by 344 bank branches comply with all legal provisions, the institutions announces in a press release.

Following the control, ANPC issued 101 fines and 103 warnings, and its inspectors gave banks a 15-day respite to sort their problems.

Among the most frequent issues is the failure to specify when a customer can be reported to the Credit Bureau, and when the creditor may launch the repossession procedure, as a result of the debtor’s incapacity to repay his loan. Other issues are printing parts of the contracts with too small fonts, failure to explicitly mention the annual effective interest (DAE), early repayment fees of 1 pc or 0.5 pc etc.

Other elements of the contracts found by ANPC as opposed to Emergency Ordinance 50/2010 on consumer loans, approved through Law 288/2010, are: linking the penalty interest to the current interest, with the former being set as percentage of the latter, charging a fixed loan management fee during the whole duration of the credit, instead of calculating it as a fraction of the annual loan balance, charging an initial repossession fee of RON 500 etc.

When the loan contract ends, the bank must provide the customer, for free, a document which either certifies that all obligations between parties have been extinguished, or indicates the contract obligations that have not been fulfilled. Furthermore, the accounts pertaining to the loan must be automatically closed, without an express request by the customer, and without additional costs. After fully repaying their credits, customers should make sure that all financial obligations are fulfilled, so they don’t find out later that they were reported to the Credit Bureau.

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