October 2, 2022

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Romanians who want to take a loan may have to take a test beforehand. ANPC: Show that they understand the terms of the contract

The National Authority for Consumer Protection wants to regulate through a normative act the additional information of consumers, prior to accessing a bank loan, according to a press release from the authority.

The vice-president of ANPC, Sebastian Hotca, had a meeting with the representatives of the Romanian Banks Association (ARB) and the Association of Financial Companies in Romania – ALB, in order to find common solutions to support consumers accessing loans in Romania.

Financial education test for those who want to take credit

“Among the subjects addressed, at the proposal of ANPC, was the need to implement, at a real level, financial education, prior to accessing a bank loan, by a natural person consumer, by completing a questionnaire that reveals his minimal knowledge of the concepts inserted in the contract and, above all, of the risks to which it is exposed, in the event of delays in repaying the loan”, the press release states.

It was also emphasized that it is very important that this stage also provides for the obligation of the bank to analyze the creditworthiness of the consumer, throughout the duration of the loan, taking into account the objective elements that may intervene in a person’s life: the increase in expenses due to the birth of one or more children, decreased work capacity as a result of aging and others.

“In the case of IFNs, it is necessary, also by normative act, to detail the repayment conditions and the risks to which the consumer is exposed in the event of inability to pay. It is also extremely important to explain, at the time of concluding the credit agreement, the the significance of the ROBOR and IRCC indices and the manner in which their evolution can affect the level of ongoing rates,” ANPC representatives believe.

Financial information on the understanding of customers

Another topic of the meeting was the need for total transparency, on the part of credit institutions, and real information to consumers regarding the possibility of accessing the insolvency procedure for natural persons, in the event that they become unable to pay, a fact that creates a benefit in consumer burden. According to the insolvency procedure, they are protected for a period of 5 years, during which the repayment plan is carried out, respectively, all enforcement procedures are suspended, during this period of time, with the possibility of extending the period by another year.

“In order to correctly and completely inform consumers, and financial instruments, not very easy to understand for everyone, must be explained as clearly and in detail as possible, so that we can be sure that accessing a loan, over a long period, is carried out in knowledge of the case, especially from the perspective of the obligations assumed by consumers. I believe that information on these topics must be a priority, so as to eliminate the difficult situations in which citizens may end up, during the repayment of the loan,” declared Sebastian Hotca, ANPC vice-president.

The representatives of the financial environment emphasized that even now the banks carry out financial education campaigns, but the vice president of the authority specified that ANPC considers this an insufficient measure, which did not achieve its goal, a fact demonstrated by the significant number of complaints regarding the situations described previously .

“In the shortest time, the discussions will continue in order to concretize, by common agreement, the proposal of a normative act that provides for all these aspects, for the benefit of all, both consumers and institutions that carry out lending activity”, it is also mentioned in the communique.

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