Bank loans – how the consumer is protected

Here is some news that will allow a concrete implementation of the rules present in the Banking Consolidation Act. The rules, in particular, concern the subject of real estate credit to consumers. But what are they? And why could they positively impact the protection of consumers and users of credit services?

More transparency on the part of the bank in bank loan agreements


The first point on which the ICR focuses is the search for greater transparency . This is an element that is at the center of legislative innovations. However, he has not always had the opportunity to go along with a concrete development of the possibility of making the information issued by the banks to customers fully correct, clear, comprehensible and not misleading. Specifically, the ICR wanted to intervene on the communication tools used . The ICR has also intervened on the possibilities of customization based on the specific needs of the consumer, on the possibility of being able to arrive at a more rapid comparison between the various credit offers on the market and thus allow the consumer to evaluate the relative conveniences, arriving at a decision more aware.

More specifically, the ICR has established that when information is contained in documents . The same must be drawn up using methods and techniques that can ensure the best graphic readability, syntactic simplicity, lexical clarity, structure logic. The documents must also be presented in a manner consistent with the communication tool used.

Advertisements on bank loans

Advertisements on bank loans

With regard to the advertisements , in its document (art. 4) the Cicr expressly requires that the announcements relating to credit agreements be disclosed in a manner consistent with the provisions of European legislation and pursuant to art. 120-octies of the TUB. They must also contain ” a clear, concise and realistic representative example “. Advertisements that do not include the interest rate or other figures that may constitute a summary indication of the cost of credit, will specify their nature as an advertising message. They must then indicate that the documentation required for the pre-contractual information is available to customers.

Pre-contractual information regarding bank loans

An ample passage in the document of the ICR is dedicated precisely to the subject of the pre-contractual information , mentioned above. In particular, in the art. 5 co. 2 it is recalled that before the conclusion of the credit agreement the lender must ensure that the consumer ” can easily and freely obtain clarifications that allow him to assess whether the proposed contract is suitable for his own needs and his financial situation “.

For the aforementioned purposes, the lender (the credit institution) must have organizational and internal control procedures. These must have as their object the methods and scope of the assistance to be provided to the consumer, ensuring that the clarifications meet three fundamental characteristics.

  • a) respond to the questions asked by the consumer on the pre-contractual documentation provided, on the characteristics of the proposed contract and the effects that may derive from it following its conclusion;
  • b) can be obtained by the consumer orally or in any case through distance communication techniques that allow individual interaction;
  • c) are provided by personnel with adequate and up-to-date knowledge of the credit agreements offered, consumers’ rights and the discipline adopted pursuant to the decree in question.

Bank loans in foreign currency

Bank loans in foreign currency

Finally, some news concerns foreign currency loans . In particular, the Cicr document states that the consumer has the right to convert the foreign currency in which the credit is denominated, pursuant to Article 120-quaterdecies of the TUB. This can happen when, compared to the time of the conclusion of the contract, there has been a change in the exchange rate equal to or greater than 20 percent.

More concretely, in order to be able to exercise the conversion right, the decree establishes a non-gratuity clause. It is envisaged that the consumer may be required to pay the lender, where provided for in the credit agreement, an all-inclusive fee. This remuneration must take into account the nature and extent of the charges that the lender may be required to bear in relation to the conversion of the loan in a currency other than that in which the loan was denominated at the time of conclusion of the contract.