SBB: The credit holiday project is far from sufficient

2022-05-29 06:31

2022-05-29 06:31

SBB: The credit holiday project is far from sufficient
photo: Andrey_Popov / / Shutterstock

The project that allows you to take advantage of credit holidays is far from sufficient: the holiday period is too short and the experience with covid solutions shows that banks make it very difficult to take advantage of this solution, says Arkadiusz Szcześniak, chairman of Stop Bankowy Bezprawiu.

The government passed a bill last Tuesday on crowdfunding for business ventures and on helping borrowers. Among other things, it offers the option of suspending the repayment of mortgage installments for eight months. Borrowers can use them in every two months of the third and fourth quarters of this year and one month in each of the 2023 quarters, and the solution will be available to all borrowers who have loans in Polish zlotys. According to the project’s Regulatory Impact Assessment, assuming borrower aid utilization by 50 percent. eligible persons, the estimated cost of this solution to the banking sector in 2022 and 2023 is approximately PLN 8 billion.

According to Arkadiusz Szcześniak, the president of the Stop Banking Bezprawiu Association (SBB), the project does not meet the expectations of the borrowers.

“With a long-term loan, such as a mortgage, the number of installments that can be deferred is, are not strictly regulated, but are dependent on the duration of the contract† Because the situation is different when the borrower has taken out a loan for 10 years and has 120 installments to pay off, and the situation is different when he has taken out a loan for 30 years and has 360 installments. In addition, borrowers should be able to do this for the entire duration of the contract, not just until the end of next year,” Szcześniak said.

As he argued, in many European countries it is possible to suspend repayments for up to 12 months, which protects people who, for example, have health problems or have lost their job.

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“This is not just about the current economic situation, such solutions are simply a tool to avoid negative social effects” – emphasized the chairman of SBB.

Szcześniak is also concerned that banks will block borrowers’ access to credit holidays.

“We addressed this situation on the occasion of the statutory credit holidays introduced during the pandemic. Banks were very rigorous in applying for holidays under the law and offered their holidays. A fee is charged for holidays under the terms of the bank,” he noted.

According to the chairman of SBB, it is the banks that make the decisions in these cases, which in practice are very difficult to appeal.

“You can only write a complaint in standard mode, and this is a torment. Banks made so many problems with this holiday season that we reported these practices to UOKiK in order to force banks to apply the provisions of the covid law” – he described .

In the opinion of Szcześniak, although many people will try to take advantage of the solution proposed by the government, even if they succeed, the proposed regulations do not solve the fundamental problem of providing floating rate mortgages.

“The solution borrowers are waiting for is the option to convert their loans with unfair WIBOR into a fixed-rate loan at a level at least comparable to countries like the Czech Republic or Hungary. Borrowers accept the explanation that such solution cannot be implemented, because in the above countries it has been possible to do it in Poland as well. However, it requires the political will to do so,” he said.

Szcześniak also pointed out that, likely against the government’s intentions, the draft’s contents indicate that Swiss franc borrowers will also be able to take advantage of the holiday.

“The draft mentions + a loan issued in Polish currency +, and the loans denominated and indexed to the franc are loans in PLN, but they have a different name” – he noted.

He emphasized that the project does not only cover purely currency loans, when the amount of the loan was specified in a currency and the loan itself was also paid in foreign currency. (DAD)

author: Małgorzata Werner-Woś

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