OTP Bank loses third lawsuit with Romanian Consumers’ Protection Authority

Local lender OTP Bank used abusive clauses in mortgage loan agreements concluded before 2010, according to a decision of the Bucharest Court of Appeal.

The court decided that the bank needs to remove the clauses allowing it to change the interest rate according to its own policy as well as the level of fees and commissions without the client’s consent from all contracts.

This is the third lawsuit Romania’s Consumer Protection (ANPC) has won with OTP Bank with erga omnes effects, namely a decision valid for all, without exception, reports Profit.ro.

The lender’s contracts included a clause that stated that the customer owed “an interest rate revisable in accordance with the bank’s policy”. In June 2008, OTP increased the interest rates for all customers. The interest rate rose from 5.5% to 6.49% for those with mortgage loans and from 5.7% to 6.99% for those with consumer loans with collateral.

After 2013, ANPC has initiated 41 lawsuits against several banks, including BCR, Banca Transilvania, Raiffeisen Bank, Piraeus Bank and ING Bank, asking for the removal of abusive clauses from their contracts.

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