ANNUAL REPORT on ALTERNATIVE DISPUTE RESOLUTION – 31.12.2016
- Jan 27, 2017
- In ABDRC reports
The Alternative Banking Dispute Resolution Centre started its alternative dispute resolution operational activity on 01.03.2016, with the receipt of the first application from a consumer.
Until 31.12.2016, as many as 469 written applications, and more than 3,500 requests by phone were received from consumers. 235 of the written applications were found compliant, while 234 were different other requests. Distribution of the complete casefiles to conciliators is done randomly, term of the availability and workload of each conciliator.
Means of filing applications (for the 235 compliant applications):
- 158 were filed by email (preferred by consumers);
- 41 were mailed;
- 36 were brought to, and registered by consumers in the office of ABDRC.
The applications received from consumers targeted the following types of claims:
- return of the risk fee charged for a loan;
- loan rescheduling;
- reduction of the monthly instalments, when the consumer assesses that the monthly instalments have been abusively increased by the business;
- return of the management fee, the monitoring fee or other categories of fees – perceived by consumers as unlawfully charged;
- return of the amount resulted from the excessive increase in the interest rate, as perceived by consumers;
- reduction of the interest rate, and freezing of exchange rate at the rate applied at execution of the loan agreement (in CHF);
- declaring the loan early due, in disregard of the contractual conditions;
- calculation and payment of the instalments in lei, at the rate of exchange applied at the time when the agreement was concluded;
- removal of clauses qualified by consumers as abusive, as regards application of default interests;
- deregistration of entries in the Credit Register, etc.
Qualification of the 235 compliant applications:
- 46 turned into casefiles;
- 48 in screening phase (reviews of completeness of the documentation, requests for information and supporting documents);
- 141 closed;
The main reasons for closing compliant applications are:
- traders refused resolution of the dispute under ADR procedures due to pending legal proceedings;
- traders refused resolution of the dispute under ADR procedures, and attempts to contact the consumer directly;
- traders made several offers, but all of them were turned down by consumers (before the consumer approached ABDRC);
- traders refused resolution of the dispute under ADR procedures because forced execution procedures have already been initiated;
- traders do not belong to the category of those the business of which is regulated by the National Bank of Romania pursuant to the Government Ordinance no. 38/2015;
- more than 90 days have passed since filing of the application, and the consumer failed to supplement the application with the data/documents required.
Qualification of the 46 casefiles in the procedure with proposed solution:
- 33 resolutions rendered/reports issued;
- 2 preliminary casefiles;
- 9 casefiles in phase of discussions/meetings with the parties;
- 2 resolutions are being drawn up;
- 1 inadmissibility resolution;
- 1 casefile in which the consumer withdrew from the procedure.
The following projects were implemented in 2016:
- a new website for ABDRC;
- a meeting with commercial banks;
- a meeting with the consumer associations in Romania;
- a press conference;
- the Facebook page of the Alternative Banking Dispute Resolution Centre;
- organization of the “Media” section on the website of the Center, which contains different communications of general interest, media stories with consumers who turned to the services of ABDRC, and declarations of conciliators and representatives of the Center;
- Consumers most frequently report the following reasons of discontent/objections:
- The fact that, pursuant to the applicable legal provisions, the alternative dispute resolutions procedures are not binding on the traders;
- The idea that most of the traders would not accept their claims filed via ABDRC, as long as they did not accept them in the amicable settlement attempt (in the phase of simple complaint), which can be discouraging (in the opinion of clients);
- The preliminary stage imposed under the law which consists in an attempt to the have claims filed amicably resolved directly with the trader represents, in their opinion, a counter-productive requirement which generates unreasonable delay especially considering the very tensed relations between the consumer and the respective traderà; an unwanted consequence of this situation is the cases in which consumers filed the complaint/application directly to the trader, and then, waiting for a reply from that trader (within 30 days), they discontinued the procedures with ABRDC;
- The maintained reservation of consumers to turn to alternative dispute resolution procedures points to the a need for sustained support from the consumer associations in fostering a consumer culture in which resolution of the disagreements with traders through faster and free-of-charge methods (by conciliation or arbitration) is the solution of choice;
- Traders are flexible when it comes to the procedure with proposed solution, but reject the procedure with imposed solution.
The WEBSITE www.csalb.ro provides information about:
- Regulation for organization of the Alternative Banking Dispute Settlement Center and for functioning of the Steering Board;
- Procedural Rules regarding:
- ADR procedure concluded with proposing a solution;
- ADR procedure concluded with imposing a solution;
- Steering Board;
- List of Conciliators;
- Short call number: 021 9414, available every day between 09:00 AM – 05.00 PM;
- Press releases and media coverage;
- Different useful information for consumers and traders.