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Franc loans. Judgment of the CJEU – what does it mean. Expert comments

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Both judgments of the CJEU should “immediately” affect favorable decisions for franchise holders – assessed Kamil Chwiedosik, founder of the Life Without Credit community. Financial Ombudsman Bohdan Pretkiel stated that there are no longer any doubts that borrowers have the right to demand remuneration from banks for unlawful use of capital. – Now there is nothing to grab when it comes to tools to fight frankowiczów – economist Marek Zuber said on TVN24.

The Court of Justice of the EU issued two judgments on Thursday in cases brought against banks by consumers who took out loans denominated in Swiss francs. Both are beneficial for “francowicze”. The CJEU found that the bank does not have the right to demand compensation from the consumer that goes beyond the return of the capital paid out and that the courts may order an interim measure in the form of suspension of loan installments during the trial to determine the unfair nature of the contract terms.

The CJEU decided on Swiss franc loans. READ MORE >>>

An expert of the Life Without Credit organization, Kamil Chwiedosik, who was in Luxembourg when the CJEU judgments were announced, has been arguing for a long time that consumers are right in this case. “

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– What would be the sanction for the use of unfair market practices if the bank could expect remuneration in a manner not provided for by the law or the relevant regulation? – He was asking. – Despite the invalidity of the contract and the obvious misleading of customers, banks would otherwise earn on their lawlessness. After all, this would contradict the logic of consumer protection, Chwiedosik explained in an interview with PAP. At the same time, he assessed that “the lawsuits brought by the banks are reprehensible and are only an attempt to intimidate consumers.”

– Both of today’s judgments should immediately affect the decisions favorable to franchise holders, i.e. the dismissal of banks’ lawsuits against consumers regarding remuneration for the use of capital and the consent of the courts to secure the claim until the final judgment – said Chwiedosik. He added that “Polish courts should provide more and more of these collateral and – what is important – also in the case of Getin borrowers.

The expert said that on the sidelines of the CJEU, the actions of Polish consumers who fight in courts with banks are assessed “very positively”. – It is believed that Poles do this for all citizens of the European Union, because their actions are an incentive to interpret EU regulations in a pro-consumer way – assessed Chwiedosik.

Violent reaction on the stock market after the CJEU judgment. READ MORE >>>

An important day for consumers

The president of the Stop Banking Lawlessness association, Arkadiusz Szcześniak, said that “this is a very important day for consumers”. Let me remind you that this verdict will also apply to PLN borrowers – he said

He pointed out that “first of all, it is the end of the over two-year-long battle in the case that the banks actually started”.

He noted that many people did not live up to this sentence. – For example, from our association there will be people who did not live to see this sentence, living under stress, unfortunately very often made various decisions or simply their health deteriorated – he said.

– We are very happy that this verdict has been passed, because maybe we will avoid such situations. And we hope that now the banks will start to respect us borrowers and will stop scaring us – he pointed out.

Robert Wajgel, vice-president of SBB, admitted that he had expected such a verdict from the CJEU. – It is impossible that a dishonest entrepreneur who entered into dishonest provisions in the contract (…) later, after losing the lawsuit, received a reward, sometimes more than would result from this loan agreement – he said.

In the opinion of the vice-president of SBB, the jurisprudence of the CJEU is pro-consumer, protecting ordinary citizens from large corporations and banks. – Today, the banks have suffered a huge failure. It couldn’t be worse for them. Banks can no longer fight in courts for any remuneration. If the contract is invalid, you simply have to account for the money you received, without any additional benefits for the bank, without any remuneration for the fact that the bank was dishonest – he explained.

As he pointed out, additionally injured borrowers can claim “compensation from banks for their suffering, family problems, suicides in the family and similar matters.”

Failure of the banks

Piotr Pląska, legal adviser from Radosław Górski i Wspólnicy Law Firm, assessed that it is highly probable that after the CJEU judgment, the banks’ lawsuits will end in failure.

As noted by Pląska, in Poland there are currently several, tens of thousands of cases in which borrowers have been sued by banks for remuneration for the use of the loan capital.

– With great probability, after such a judgment of the CJEU, these cases will end in failure of the banks. Banks will incur significant court costs of these cases, the costs of bringing lawsuits. And consumers – the Tribunal has not closed the way for them to claim receivables from banks related to the use of the borrower’s money by the bank – said the counsel.

In his opinion, there are grounds for consumers to be able to claim receivables from banks in certain cases. He added that the CJEU ruling is universal and will not only apply to CHF loans. According to Pląska, it also applies “certainly to other loans, and with high probability also to other contracts.”

Financial Ombudsman on “toxic” loans

– Today’s judgment of the CJEU is another, extremely important stage in the long-term battle for justice that Swiss franc borrowers had to fight with banks offering toxic loans – said Financial Ombudsman Dr. Bohdan Pretkiel.

In his opinion, “there is no longer any doubt that borrowers have the right to demand compensation from banks for the unlawful use of capital.”

He added that it should be remembered, however, that no money can compensate for many human tragedies, the enormity of pain and suffering that were behind the dishonest loans. – This is also an extremely important lesson for all financial institutions, which should construct financial products in such a way that they are free from unfair and unlawful provisions, instead of being guided only by the desire for profit – noted Bohdan Pretkiel.

He reminded that the Financial Ombudsman actively participated in the proceedings before the CJEU, presenting his position at the written stage and at the hearing on October 12, 2022.

Big win for franchisees

– This will change a lot. This will be a full win for franchise holders and may result in numerous lawsuits – said Karolina Hytrek-Prosiecka, a journalist from “Gazeta Wyborcza”, on TVN24.

She added that the banking system in Poland is stable. – Of course, smaller banks may suffer here, because they are burdened credit holidays, but at the same time the banks had time to prepare for this verdict. Initially, it was said that the maximum scenario could cost the banking system as much as PLN 100 billion, today this is outdated. Banks set up reserves of about PLN 45 billion – she noted.

The editor-in-chief of “Kultura Liberalna” Jarosław Kuisz noted on TVN24 that “the state (Polish – editor’s note) did not want to deal with it. The EU authorities stood up for consumers in Poland.”

– Lawyers and economists knew perfectly well that at the time when all these wholesale agreements were concluded, that these agreements were very much wrong. The dominant position of the banks was used frequently. The legal ignorance of citizens is a fact, and the banks believed that everything would pass – he concluded.

Economist Marek Zuber said that banks should go towards settlements. – They, at least for the most part, went in such a way as to carry out these court processes. This was due to the fact that we could then show the shareholders that we did everything not to lose, if I can put it that way – he said on TVN24.

He noted that “now there is nothing to grab when it comes to tools to fight frankowiczów”.

Read also: Minus promises. They were supposed to “free Poles from slavery” in franc loans. They did not release

Main photo source: Grand Warsaw/Shutterstock

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