Cases related to financial servicesPrint
SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT: disputing the cost charged for terminating a bank account
The petitioner complained of the late termination of his bank account, as he asked for the termination of the account in March 2016 and he also terminated his credit card contract in April 2016. The service provider terminated the account contract and the credit card contract only in July and August 2016, respectively. In view of the fact that neither the petitioner, nor the service provider was able to prove their statements in full, the parties agreed in the settlement of the costs related to the termination of the account.
SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT: transfer order from a payment account
The petitioner had a forint payment account with the financial service provider, from which the financial service provider transferred several million forints to the Hungarian tax authority (NAV) at the request of NAV due to the tax liability of the petitioner's child. The financial service provider informed the petitioner that his child had the right of disposal over his payment account as a co-owner, which is also shown in the account statements. The petitioner disputed his child's co-owner capacity, in view of which – after a failed complaint procedure – he asked for crediting the said amount to his account. During the procedure the financial service provider cited that the person with unpaid tax liability was specified in its electronic records as co-owner, however – upon the call to this effect – it was unable to attach the hard copy documents related to the establishment of the co-owner relation and the specimen signature of the petitioner's child. In view of this, the service provider proposed a settlement agreement and undertook to credit the amount formerly debited to the account based on the tax authority's order and the default interest payable for the period elapsed since then to the petitioner's account. The petitioner accepted the proposed settlement agreement and the service provider fulfilled the settlement agreement.
SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT: CHF-denominated terminated car purchase financing loan contract
The petitioner turned to the Board alleging that he had already paid off the car purchase financing loan and that he was unable to pay more due to his financial and family circumstances. In its response, the financial service provider stated that the contract was concluded validly, it was a CHF-denominated loan, with variable interest rates. The outstanding debt represents a legitimate claim of the financial service provider.
The contract of the petitioners continued to be denominated in foreign currency, in view of the fact that the customer did not accept the proposed amendment of the contract related to the conversion into forints. Since the petitioner failed to meet his payment obligation, the financial service provider terminated the contract with immediate effect. Based on this, the full debt of the petitioner became payable in one sum. The parties concluded a settlement agreement at the hearing, according to which the financial service provider forgave a certain amount of the outstanding debt. The financial service provider undertook that upon the joint sales of the vehicle, after deducting the proceeds from the debt, it would allow the payment of the remaining debt by interest-free instalments; in addition, it also undertook to remove the vehicle free of charge.
SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT: cancellation of the full registered debt
The petitioner stated in his petition that his father, who used to be co-debtor in a personal loan contract, had passed away and the financial service provider demanded payment of the outstanding debt of him, as successor. The petitioner disputed the APR stated in the contract, as in his opinion it was unfair. He argued that the debtor had already paid the full debt based on the contract and complained of the inadequate information, and also raised the defence of the statute of limitation. In its response, the financial service provider disputed the content of the petition, and proposed that the debt claimed by it be paid by instalments, at the petitioner's choice, in 48 months by fixed amount instalments. At the hearing the parties agreed that the financial service provider would not lay any further claim in respect of the receivable under any title, and would close the case. In the procedure the petitioner was unable to confirm and substantiate his statements made in respect of disputing the legal basis and the existence of the debt, while the financial service provider could not confirm that any legal act took place that would have interrupted the statute of limitation.
BINDING RESOLUTION: waiving the amount reclaimed under the title of unjust enrichment
The petitioner objected to the fact that the financial service provider, citing unjust enrichment, demanded the return of the unfairly charged amount paid to him. According to the position of the financial service provider, the consumer receivable specified in the Settlement Act was paid as a result of an administration error (during the settlement the service provider did not take into consideration the allowance applied), thus the petitioner acquired it without a legal basis, hence it must be paid back to the service provider; in addition, it noted that no new settlement was prepared for the contract.
According to the available documents, the financial service provider prepared no new – adjusted – settlement, containing the applied allowance, within the available deadline. If the aforementioned contract had ceased as a result of the preferential final repayment, the financial service provider should have prepared the settlement by November 2015; however, the settlement was prepared by April 2015, i.e. the settlement deadline applicable to contracts not involved in the final repayment. According to the position of the acting panel, the financial service provider wanted to reclaim an amount from the petitioner in respect of which the financial service provider failed to substantiate the rightfulness of the claim either by preparing a new settlement or in any other way; in addition, the petitioner would have not been entitled to dispute the amount on the merits (i.e. the sum of it) due to the expiry of the deadline for complaints. Moreover, based on the submitted documents, the petitioner withdrew the amount calculated and repaid by the financial service provider in good faith and meanwhile spent it. Based on the foregoing, the acting panel called upon the service provider not to enforce the claim against the consumer.
RECOMMENDATION: bank secret
The financial service provider managed an account under the name of the petitioner's late husband. After the death of the husband the entire estate validly devolved upon the petitioner, who asked for information from the financial service provider with regard to the transfer orders made from her late husband's account before his death; however, the service provider refused to provide the information citing bank secret. The financial service provider cited the itemised list in Section 161 of the Act on Credit Institutions, which it believed that it did not relieve it from its obligation to treat bank secret confidentially in the event of data transfer to the heir.
The acting panel recommended the service provide to disclose the requested information to the heir in respect of transfer orders, as there is no restriction related to bank secret in respect of heirs. The acting panel drew the service provider's attention to the fact that based on the provisions of Section 7:1 of the Civil Code the entire estate devolves upon the heir, which also means that the succession applies both the obligations and rights related to the estate. The heir is entitled to the same right as the predecessor, thus no bank secret may exist for the heir.
RECOMMENDATION: fee for final repayment
The petitioner criticised that the financial service provider charged 2 per cent of the outstanding principal debt as prepayment fee during the final repayment, as in his opinion this could have been only 1 per cent. The financial service provider took the position that it acted correctly upon charging the final repayment fee, arguing that Section 25 of the Consumer Loans Act was amended after 21 March 2016, which had to be taken into consideration on the date of the final repayment.
The Board issued a recommendation, in which it recommended to the financial service provider to repay 50 per cent of the final repayment fee paid by the petitioner upon the final repayment, i.e. to charge the final repayment fee at 1 per cent. The acting panel of the recommendation took into consideration the legislator's intention described in the general justification of the Amending Act, which ordered to apply Section 25 (1) of the Consumer Loans Act to contracts concluded after the Amending Act's entry into force, thus in respect of contracts concluded before the effective date of the Amending Act the legislator maintained the differentiation by the purpose of the loan. According to this, when Section 25 of the Consumer Loans Act in force at the time of concluding the contract is to be applied, not only subsection (1) of Section 25 of the Consumer Loans Act must be applied as the main rule, but also subsection (4) thereof, as an exception to the main rule when applying the Act to the contract involved in the procedure.
RECOMMENDATION: handling fee
The petitioner and the assignor financial service provider concluded a loan contract entitled Housing Loan with Supplementary Interest Subsidy. The assignor financial service provider later terminated the contract and assigned the debt recorded on the loan account to the assignee financial service provider in the beginning of the following year. In its response submitted in the procedure, the assignor financial service provider stated that the assignment declaration contained an erroneous amount for the handling fee; due to an individual technical error, it debited the loan account monthly between the date of termination and the assignment with the handling fee. It stated that the loan contract did not provide the financial service provider with the right to charge a handling fee upon late payment hence the termination letter could not contain it either. It stated that in the respective period it should have not debited the loan account with the handling fee. It proposed a settlement offer however the petitioner did not accept it. Based on the declaration in the response of the assignor financial service provider, it debited the loan account and raised the petitioner's debt with the amount of the handling fee illegitimately. Accordingly, the amount of the assigned debt was stated incorrectly in the notice on the assignment.
According to the recommendation, the assignor financial service provider had to transfer the amount charged between the dates of the termination and the assignment of the loan contract to the petitioner's account held with the assignee financial service provider, and in view of this, the assignee financial service provider had to reduce the amount of debt in respect of the date of assignment and had to calculate the registered amount of the debt accordingly.
RECOMMENDATION: integrated Casco
In relation to a CHF-denominated loan contract, the insurance premium of the integrated CASCO was paid by the petitioner in the due instalments as part of the interest. In view of the infringement, the financial service provider had a settlement obligation to determine the exchange rate difference charged in respect of the premium. The petitioner complained of the amount of the reimbursement calculated by the financial service provider, as according to the previously sent statement on the exchange rate difference calculated and charged on the fixed amount insurance premium, the interest amount to be refunded was higher, hence he asked for the payment of that. The financial service provider took the position that it calculated the amount to be refunded correctly, with special regard to the fact that its settlement obligation was due from the amendment of Section 210 (5a) of the Credit Institutions Act (29 September 2011), and it used the formula and rate recommended by the Supervisory Authority. The acting panel made a recommendation to the financial service provider to pay the higher amount, i.e. the one shown in the statement, to the petitioner. In the recommendation it explained that the service provider calculated, using its own method, a higher amount to be refunded and it informed the petitioner thereof, whereas the application of the recommended formula was less favourable for the consumer. In order to ensure the enforcement of consumer protection considerations, it is recommended to apply the higher amount, as there is no statutory requirement that prohibits service providers to depart in individual cases unilaterally to the benefit of consumers.
RESOLUTION TO TERMINATE: foreign bank charge of foreign currency transfer order
The petitioner claimed that the financial service provider failed to confirm the cost charged by the foreign bank during the execution of a foreign currency transfer order, which was debited to his bank account. The petitioner asked for documentary confirmation of the costs incurred in connection with the transfer order or the crediting thereof to his bank account.
In its response, the financial service provider stated that in its view the bank account statement was sufficient confirmation of the cost incurred; however, it asked for a confirmation from the correspondent bank to the effect that the foreign bank cost related to the petitioner's foreign currency transfer order was duly paid by the financial service provider. The financial service provider attached this document to its response. After the receipt of the response, the petitioner accepted the rate of the bank charges and the confirmation thereof, withdrew his petition, hence no hearing was held. The petitioner deemed his case closed to his satisfaction.
RESOLUTION TO TERMINATE: partial invalidity of the contract
The petitioner applied for declaring a contract partially invalid. He stated that he had not received nor had he signed the information on the foreign currency-denominated loans and the risks thereof. He cited that during the tenure of the loan he had been informed that the financial service provider would not charge any default interest upon late payment. Furthermore, he complained that as a result of the settlement the tenure became longer; he proposed a settlement agreement that he would undertake the payment of the present instalments until the end of the original tenure, if thereafter the financial service provider raise no claim against him at all.
In its response, the financial service provider stated that the contract was concluded validly and the present outstanding debt is its legitimate claim. At the hearing, the financial service provider proposed alternative settlement agreement offers for the closing of the contract, i.e. either to pay the outstanding debt by instalment with low, fixed interest rate, or, upon selling the vehicle – after offsetting the proceeds against the debt – to pay the remaining debt by interest-free instalments. The petitioner insisted on his objection related to invalidity and did not accept any of the financial service provider's proposed settlement agreement offers. Accordingly, the procedure was terminated as the continuation thereof became impossible.