PRESS RELEASE – USEFUL INFORMATION FOR CONSUMERS OF FINANCIAL AND BANKING SERVICES
- Jul 11, 2017
- In Information
Further to the application lodged by the clients who approach the Alternative Banking Dispute Resolution Center (ABDRC), in the context of our impartial endeavour to foster better financial education for consumers, we hereby issue these recommendations for those who intend to contract a loan from a bank or a non-banking financial institution (NBFI):
- Before concluding a loan agreement (with a bank/NBFI), always carefully read the entire document presented to you, including any potential explanatory notes in the footer/end of the document;
- where there are specific banking terms you don’t understand or understand only in part, ask the banking officer (of the bank/NBFI) to provide you with clear explanations about the meaning of these terms;
- where the explanations received from the officer have not fully cleared you, it’s better to seek assistance from a person specialized in this field (usually, with legal or economic background), so that you will be fully cleared with the content of each clause in the agreement; any clause that you failed to understand at the time when the agreement was signed can become a potential risk during the performance term thereof, in particular in case of long-term agreements;
- pay attention especially to the chapter on costs: interests, fees, default interests, etc.; make sure you have understood how these are calculated and to what these are applied: the initial principal, the current principal, etc.;
- where these costs are linked to interbank interest rates, such as: LIBOR, EURIBOR, ROBOR etc., do search for information about their developments. Please find below some examples:
Thus, you will have a clearer picture on the evolution of the interest rate, and, implicitly, of the potential future developments of the costs associated with the loan contracted;
- similarly, pay due attention to the collaterals lodged in favour of banks/NBFIs: the real properties/movable assets/income provided as collateral (mortgage/pledge) by debtor clients or the guarantors thereof are the first properties which can be pursued and turn to account by banks/NBFIs when the recovery (force execution) proceedings are commenced;
- talk directly and as soon as possible with the bank/NBFIs when you experience difficulties in repaying the loan instalments in accordance with the repayment schedules received;
- remember that in any stage of your contractual relations with banks/NBFIs you may turn to the free-of-charge services of ABDRC to have the disputes which might occur resolved: you can do this directly/in person, or you may be represented by attorneys (in this case, the fee is borne by consumers). Similarly, you may also be represented by the consumer protection associations you are part of, or by other third persons (in this latter case, a notarized power of attorney is required).
Please be reminded that ABDRC is an independent apolitical not-for-profit entity of public interest established under the Government Ordinance no. 38/2015. The purpose of ABDRC is to manage the infrastructure required for alternative resolution of the disputes between consumers and the banking and financial institutions in a balanced, reasonable, expeditious and out-of-court manner, working with experts in the banking and financial sector (conciliators) who, according to the procedure chosen by the parties, may either propose or impose a resolution solution for the dispute.