The Office of Competition and Consumer Protection has imposed a fine of more than PLN 44 million on consumer bank Santander, the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection (UOKiK) reported on Monday. The office questioned practices relating to granting consumer loans, including costs related to insurance in the total loan amount.
As the bureau announced on Monday, the president of UOKiK issued a decision in which he considered that Santander Consumer Bank violates the collective interests of consumers. Actions in this case are initiated on the basis of a notice from the consumer organization.
UOKiK’s suspicion was raised, among other things, by the addition of the additional insurance service premium to the total loan amount. “A consumer who takes out a consumer loan with insurance at Santander Consumer Bank can add to their cost. However, the bank illegally includes the cost of insurance premiums in the total loan amount– It was said.
“The bank, by providing information on the total amount of the loan, misleads consumers as to the proportionality between the total amount of the loan and its cost. Thus, its offer to the consumer appears more favorable than it actually is, and is better than that of other lenders who give reliable information about the cost of the loan”- UOKiK President Tomasz Chróstny noted.
He added that a Santander Consumer Bank customer, based on misleading information, could – by comparing the bank’s offer with those of other financial institutions – decide on a loan that seemed appropriate, which he would not do if he had correct information on the ratio between the cost and the total amount of the loan granted by Santander Consumer Bank.
According to UOKiK, the bank’s operations violated the economic interests of consumers“Who — not being able to compare the offer reliably with that of other banks which have correctly reported the total amount of the loan — can choose a less favorable offer in terms of the costs they will have to incur.”
As a result, the head of UOKiK imposed a fine of more than 44 million PLN on the bank. The decision is not final.
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