Polish govt accepts anti-usury law

The Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said that a draft of the anti-usury law, accepted by the Polish government on Tuesday, aims to “remove traps set for citizens.”

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At the conference following a cabinet meeting, the PM said that the new law will “prevent abuse by loan companies using their stronger position against weaker consumers.” He stressed that these are often elderly people and pensioners.

“But not only. These are also people whose current needs are used to force additional fees and interest rates, which cannot be named differently than ‘draconian,” Mr Morawiecki stressed.

“This bill will remove traps often set for citizens that are not aware what creditor-borrower conditions they entered into,” he added, also saying that loans are often calculated with the use of many different rules.

Zbigniew Ziobro, the Justice Minister, said that the draft of the anti-usury law “limits in a consistent way the possibility of demanding higher costs of loans than those precisely determined in the regulations of this bill.”

If the new law is also accepted by the Polish parliament then a person that demands additional fees, higher than double the value of a loan set in a contract, will face up to five years in prison.

Instalment purchases and so-called “quick loans” will also be covered with a maximum limit of 45 percent interest rate per annum. Moreover, the limits will be lower for short-term instalment purchases, for example for six months it will only be 32.5 percent

“The bill was constructed in a way that it is not possible to bypass it,” Mr Ziobro said.

A deputy PM Jacek Sasin said that the draft of the bill will be passed on to the lower house of the Polish parliament as soon as possible so that it will be accepted in July.