THE ANPC STARTS THE REVOLUTION ON THE BANKING MARKET15 banks - fined by the ANPC for misleading advertising

E.O (translated by Cosmin Ghidoveanu)
English Section /

Bogdan Pandelică, head of the ANPC

Bogdan Pandelică, head of the ANPC

The National Consumer Protection Agency (ANPC) recently fined no less than 15 commercial banks, on charges of misleading advertising, according to sources close to the situation.

They told us that the fines were levied as a result of the advertising themed audit, in which the commissioners verify the way banks promote their products in the media.

Our sources told us that the 15 lenders fined are BCR, Banca Transilvania, BRD Groupe Societe Generale, CEC Bank, OTP Bank, Unicredit Bank, Piraeus Bank, Bancpost, Credit Europe Bank, Garanti Bank, Alpha Bank, ING Bank, Bank Leumi, Raiffesen Bank, Libra Internet Bank.

Apparently the banks in question were audited by the ANPC between August 28th - October 6th, 2017. However, the quoted sources told us that the action is not over yet.

These are not the first fines issued by the ANPC this year in the banking sector. The ANPC fined about 300,000 lei several banks for breaking the law, after auditing 17 financial institutions, according to a document obtained by BURSA at the end of August. According to our sources, the audit took place over several months, including in the first half of 2017. Banks received warnings and fines and were required to fix the uncovered irregularities.

The violations uncovered by the ANPC include the abusive collection of fines, as well as raising the interest margin without any legal ground. Another abuse identified by the ANPC in some loan agreements concerns the fact that the "financial/banking operator concluded contracts which did not specify the total payable amount", according to the quoted document. "For failure to comply with art. 35, paragraph 1, letter d) of Emergency Government Ordinance 50/2010 with its subsequent modifications, which stipulates that it is prohibited to «charge a withdrawal fee for the amounts drawn from the loan», the following banks were fined: Alpha Bank, Credit Agricole Bank, Bancpost, Credit Europe Bank, ING Bank NV Amsterdam, Garanti Bank SA, BRD Groupe Societe Generale SA, Raiffeisen Bank, Piraeus Bank". The following banks were audited by the ANPC: Alpha Bank, Credit Agricole Bank, Bancpost, Credit Europe Bank, ING Bank NV Amsterdam, Garanti Bank SA, BRD Groupe Societe Generale SA, Raiffeisen Bank, Marfin Bank, Bank Leumi România SA, Banca Transilvania, Banca Comercială Română, Banca Românească, CEC Bank, OTP Bank, Unicredit Bank, Piraeus Bank.

The ANPC has brought 46 lawsuits against lenders between 2016-2017, based on the law no. 193/2000 concerning abusive clauses in contracts concluded between professionals and consumers. The ruling of the court will apply to all contracts of the same type concluded by the financial institution in question, according to the ANPC report.

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