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Press release  

16 may 2011

Main provisions of the consumer credit reform

The law of 1 July 2010 reforming consumer credit transposed the European directive of April 2008.


The law brought major changes governing all consumer loans with a maturity of more than one month ranging from EUR 200 to EUR 75,000. The measures have been deployed over several months, from September 2010 to May 2011.

In some cases, the law laid down practices already applied by banks. Prior to granting a loan, the lender must verify the borrower's solvency and check the FICP (register of individual loan repayment incidents), already a longstanding practice in the industry. The lender must also provide the borrower with a standardised, precontractual information sheet on the terms and conditions of the loan. The law also formally established a bank's duty to explain and to inform its clients, while extending the retraction period from 7 to 14 days. These measures will take effect in May 2011.

Since September 2010, the law has provided for greater supervision of loan advertising. For example, the interest rate of the loan must be printed in larger characters than those used for promotional interest rates.

The term "renewable loan" will become exclusive, replacing the terms revolving loan and permanent loan. Each monthly statement must indicate the estimated remaining reimbursement period and each payment deadline must include a minimum principal repayment. This measure will take effect in May 2011.

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