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Poland watchdog fines Kredyty-Chwilówki with 115,000 euros

Staff Writer |
The company Kredyty-Chwilówki used slogans in its offers and ads that could give consumers a false certainty they would receive a loan.

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This was one of the charges UOKiK leveled against the enterprise in levying a fine exceeding 470,000 PLN (115,000 euros).[break]

Poland’s Office of Competition and Consumer Protection (UOKiK) initiated proceedings against financial intermediary Kredyty-Chwilówki in late December 2014. The Authority expressed doubts regarding:

The slogans „Without BIK” and „Without verifying your credit history”, which suggest the lender did not assess consumers’ creditworthiness.

They could also give the impression that the consumer would receive a loan unconditionally even with a negative credit history. Meanwhile, according to the Consumer Credit Act, every institution that lends money must examine clients’ creditworthiness.

A failure to provide the requisite information form in a timely manner before concluding the contract.

The Consumer Credit Act also stipulates that the lender must provide the consumer with a form containing information including the interest rate, total cost of the credit and the collateral required to take it.

The form allows consumers to easily compare the offers of competing companies and to assess which would be more beneficial. The company was furnishing it just before customers signed the contract, which UOKiK deemed too late.

A failure by the company to make it clear that it is in fact a financial intermediary. Ultimately, consumers were concluding a contract with another company, but could have been convinced that they were dealing with a lender, not an agent.

UOKiK ordered the company to discontinue the practices in question and fined the company 475 307 PLN (115,000 euros) for violating the collective interests of consumers. The decision is not final and may be appealed in court.

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