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Office of Competition and Consumer Protection

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President of UOKiK presses charges against Santander Bank Polska

< previous | next > 07.10.2022

President of UOKiK presses charges against Santander Bank Polska
  • Santander Bank Polska is the first bank against which the President of UOKiK has filed allegations for failure to settle the collected fees in the event of full early repayment of a mortgage loan.
  • If you fully repay a mortgage loan that you have taken out after 21 July 2017, the bank should settle the costs collected in connection with the conclusion of the agreement on a pro rata basis.

In May of this year, the President of UOKiK initiated 17 inquiries against banks in connection with consumer signals concerning problems in settling mortgage credit costs in the event of early repayment. The Authority found that Santander Bank received a number of complaints from consumers who repaid the mortgage loans granted from 22 July 2017 to 16 May 2022 before the deadline. Borrowers requested a pro rata settlement of costs charged in connection with the granting of the loan, including, for example, commissions. It follows from the previous findings of the President of UOKiK that the bank rejects these claims.

Obligation to settle all fees

Due to the increase in WIBOR 3M and 6M interest rates, on which the interest rate on mortgage loans in PLN depends, the instalments of mortgage loans repaid by consumers increase. Therefore, some customers choose to repay the loan early. In such a situation, the bank should settle with the borrower and reimburse charged fees representing the total cost of the loan, regardless of when they were incurred, on a pro rata basis. The settlement is subject to, among other things, commissions, costs of intermediation or preparation of the agreement, collected by the bank. It should be remembered that this rule applies to contracts concluded after 21 July 2017. In the case of mortgage loans taken out earlier, the issue of early repayment shall be governed by credit agreements.

The possibility of early repayment or overpayment of a mortgage loan results from Article 38 of the Act on mortgage loan and on supervision over mortgage loan intermediaries and agents, and the obligation to settle with the consumer from Article 39 of that Act. The interpretation of these provisions is included in the position of the President of UOKiK published in May 2022 on the website finanse.uokik.gov.pl.

Allegations against Santander Bank Polska

The President of UOKiK has charged Santander Bank Polska with alleged practices that violate collective consumer interests.

- The allegation relates to non-return of the amounts due to consumers who have fully repaid the mortgage before the deadline. I remind you that, in the event of early repayment, banks are obliged to settle with borrowers. Such settlement should cover all credit costs. In our opinion, this is due to applicable law. These provisions are analogous to ones on consumer loans, where the banks initially strongly challenged the Authority’s actions, and eventually complied with the judgement of the CJEU of 2019 and UOKiK guidelines. The charges collected should be settled on the basis of the simplest and fairest linear method. In investigation proceedings, we are also looking at the practices of other banks and we do not exclude the possibility of levelling further accusations - says Tomasz Chróstny, President of UOKiK.

Santander Bank Polska is punishable by a financial penalty of up to 10% of annual turnover for infringements of collective consumer interests.

If you paid the mortgage before the deadline, remember:

  • A pro rata fee refund is payable to those who, before the due date, repay all or part of the loan and choose to shorten the credit period.
  • The bank should settle all credit costs, including the commission collected, intermediation costs, costs of preparation of the agreement or real property valuation.
  • Settlement should take place on a straight-line basis. It consists of the financial institution dividing all costs by the number of days on which the contract was to apply. The result is multiplied by the number of days by which the loan period was shortened - and that sum is what should be returned to the consumer.
  • The bank refused to settle fees and commissions in connection with early repayment of the loan? Notify UOKiK, write to us at [SCODE]dW9raWtAdW9raWsuZ292LnBs[ECODE]. You can also take advantage of the free assistance of the Financial Ombudsman.

Financial calculator

UOKiK has prepared a financial calculator which you can use to see an indication of how your instalment will look like when you overpay on your mortgage. You will also see whether if you overpaid, it would be better for you to reduce the instalment or shorten the lending period. You can also see the amount of the instalment in the event of a change in interest rate. The calculator is available at finanse.uokik.gov.pl.

Consumer Support:

Phone: 801 440 220 or 222 66 76 76 – consumer helpline
E-mail: [SCODE]cG9yYWR5QGRsYWtvbnN1bWVudG93LnBs[ECODE]
Financial Ombudsman - when a complaint has been rejected by a financial institution
Consumer Ombudsmen – in your town or district

Additional information for the media:

UOKiK Press Office
pl. Powstańców Warszawy 1, 00-950 Warszawa, Poland
Phone: 22 55 60 246
Email: [SCODE]Yml1cm9wcmFzb3dlQHVva2lrLmdvdi5wbA==[ECODE]
Twitter: @UOKiKgovPL
You can also follow us on Instagram: @uokikgovpl

Attached files

 

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ICPENICNPolish Aid