At the beginning of last year, loan agreements from 14 companies operating in the non-banking sector were analyzed. The results of published studies were not satisfactory. The Consumer Federation has found that institutions providing short-term loans both during the last year and during the survey do not provide specific data on interest rates. Framework agreements contain information on the calculation of maximum interest, i.e. four times the NBP lombard rate, but without indicating the specific value in force on the date the form is available. The Association also considered the violation of consumer goods that some loan companies are delaying the presentation of the exact cost of the loan until the loan application has been considered. Lenders claim that some parameters of payday loans are set individually, based on the information contained in the forms. Representatives of the Consumer Federation claim that such activities are reprehensible, because they do not meet the statutory requirements regarding the indication of the cost of the loan, APRC in the contract and the provision of pre-contractual information.
The Association of Consumer Federation also indicates no improvement as to the conclusion of indefinite contracts. Although this activity is not illegal, it clearly violates the good of the consumer. The registration fee was also magnified, which, although in most companies is symbolic, because it is only 0.01 PLN, should be included in the total cost of the loan and APRC.
However, as the biggest problem, the Federation of Consumers considered lending companies charging too high debt collection fees, which significantly exceed the real costs of this process.
Most proven lending institutions have improved significantly in informing customers about the possibility of early or partial repayment of a loan. Customers are also reliably informed about the possibility of withdrawing from the contract and how to deal with such situations.
The Act on Financial Market Supervision introduces significant changes, including the introduction of a definition of a loan institution. According to which the lending institution is a lender that is not a bank, credit unions, or an entity whose activity consists in granting consumer loans in the form of deferring payment of the price or remuneration for the purchase of goods and services offered by him. A loan company can only be a limited company with a minimum share capital of PLN 200,000. It is also significant that, according to the Act, none of the persons managing the company may be a person punished in cases of crimes against the credibility of documents, property, business transactions, trade in money and securities or a fiscal offense.
A significant change is the imposition of a limitation on the non-interest costs of short-term loans, which at the moment, as the Consumer Federation notes, are greatly overstated. After the changes introduced, the non-interest costs of the annual loan may not exceed 55% of its total value. For short-term loans, this amount will decrease even more, which will definitely benefit consumers themselves. What is more, the act is aimed at eliminating consumers falling into spirals of debt, introducing restrictions on loans taken out to pay off their previous liabilities by imposing restrictions. If a customer who has not previously repaid the first loan, receives a second loan from the non-bank institution, i.e. within 120 days from the date of conclusion of the outstanding loan agreement, then the maximum non-interest costs of both loans cannot be higher than the maximum non-interest costs of the first loan.
The Civil Code will also specify the maximum amount of penalty interest and collection fees resulting from delays in loan repayments. An important change is also the fact that loan companies are obliged to return to the consumer funds taken in preparation or consideration of the application if:
The upcoming changes will certainly have a loud echo in the entire banking industry. Specialists speculate that short-term loan offers will start to disappear in the near future and installment loans will be increasingly offered to clients.