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Franc loans. Important decisions of the CJEU on Thursday

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On Thursday, the Court of Justice of the European Union is to issue rulings on Swiss franc loans. Of particular interest is the planned ruling of the CJEU on mutual settlements after the annulment of a loan agreement containing unfair terms.

The Court of Justice of the EU will issue rulings on Thursday in two important cases for banks and their customers with Swiss franc loans. It concerns the issue of fees for the use of capital after the cancellation of the loan agreement and security for the duration of the proceedings regarding the validity of the agreement.

Two things

Case reference C-520/21 concerns remuneration for the use of capital after cancellation of the CHF loan agreement. On the one hand, the question is whether banks may demand any other benefits from the consumer, apart from the return of the paid-out capital and the payment of statutory interest for delay from the time of the request for payment, and on the other hand, to pursue claims from the bank that go beyond the reimbursement of monetary benefits.

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The second case he is due to rule on Thursday Court of Justice of the European Union, bears the signature C-287/22. It concerns the so-called security. It is about the suspension of the obligation to repay the loan installments requested by the franchise holders until the court proceedings regarding the validity of the loan agreement are resolved.

In February, the Advocate General of the CJEU issued an opinion of particular interest in the case of mutual settlements after the annulment of a loan agreement containing unfair terms. In his opinion, if the cancellation of the loan agreement was due to unfair terms, consumers may pursue claims from banks that go beyond the reimbursement of cash benefits. Banks, on the other hand, do not have a similar right.

An unfavorable verdict can cost banks a lot

The market assessed that the opinion of the CJEU spokesperson is negative for the banking sector. The pro-consumer decision of the CJEU may mean that Swiss franc borrowers, who have been hesitant to make such a move, may decide to sue banks. The influx of new CHF cases will make it necessary for banks to establish further provisions for legal risk, which would weaken their capital positions.

The chairman of the Polish Financial Supervision Authority, Jacek Jastrzębski, recently assessed that the Polish banking sector is prepared for a negative judgment of the CJEU, and the supervision is finalizing work on the assumptions of a statutory solution to the problem of CHF loans. In 2022, the supervision estimated that an unfavorable judgment of the CJEU could cost banks about PLN 100 billion.

In recent statements, representatives of the sector shared the opinion as to the readiness and preparation of banks for a negative ruling, but at the same time assessed that the condition of the financial sector and its ability to finance the economy would be undermined in such a scenario.

More lawsuits

According to the data of the Credit Information Bureau (BIK), the number of active CHF loans decreased by nearly 46.5 thousand in 2022, and the value of repayments decreased by over PLN 5.5 billion. However, there are more and more lawsuits in cases concerning loans in Swiss francs.

At the end of 2021, the number of active fractional loans exceeded 388.4 thousand, and the value of funds to be repaid was slightly over PLN 92 billion. In turn, at the end of 2022, the number of active CHF loans amounted to less than 342,000, and the amount to be repaid was slightly over PLN 86.5 billion, according to data from the Credit Information Bureau.

At the same time, there are more and more lawsuits against banks brought by CHF loan holders. PKO BP reported in its financial report that at the end of December 2022, 19.5 court proceedings were pending against the bank, which means an increase of over 7,000. compared to the end of 2021. The value of claims at the end of the year was over PLN 7.7 billion, while at the end of 2021 it was over PLN 3.85 billion.

Santander reported that at the end of 2022, over 12.2 thousand claims were filed against a group of banks. lawsuits regarding Swiss franc loans, while the year before it was almost 8.5 thousand. lawsuits. The value of claims amounted to slightly over PLN 3.6 billion at the end of 2022, and a year earlier it was less than PLN 2.01 billion.

In its financial report, mBank reported that at the end of 2022, the number of lawsuits amounted to 17.6 thousand, which means an increase of almost 4.6 thousand. compared to the end of 2021, and the value of claims at the end of last year was almost PLN 6.36 billion. The ING BSK bank reported that by the end of 2022, holders of CHF loans had brought almost PLN 1.05 thousand against it. claims (an increase of over 290 compared to the end of 2021), and the value of claims amounted to PLN 255 million, i.e. increased by over PLN 50 million. Bank Millennium reported that at the end of last year In 2018, the total number of lawsuits amounted to 17.28 thousand, while a year earlier, customers with CHF loans filed nearly 12 thousand. lawsuits.

Main photo source: Shutterstock



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