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English   Srpski  Home page > News archives > Press conference 09.02.2018

Press conference

LENDING ACTIVITY AND LEGITIMACY OF CHARGING LOAN PROCESSING FEES


On 9 February 2018 the Association of Serbian Banks organized a press conference, attended by many representatives from all the leading media and news agencies, when Dr Veroljub Dugalić, ASB Secretary General, presented the Credit Bureau data for January 2018. When it comes to corporate and retail lending, the two trends observed during the previous months continue: the general loan stagnation and the increased repayment regularity, i.e. the continual decrease in default (8.6% at the end of January 2018, or specifically: 11.2% for legal entities, 9.0% for entrepreneurs and 4.4% for retail loans). There has been a slight decrease in corporate loans by 1.3%, hence the number of loans is by 1376 fewer at the end of January, in comparison with the end of 2017. The situation concerning NPLs is improving, with the share of NPLs currently standing at around 11%. The data show no significant changes in terms of current accounts and credit cards.

The second part of the press conference was dedicated to current affairs, and the journalists showed most interest in the matter of the loan processing fees charged by the banks. Regarding that, Dr Dugalić systematically and unequivocally explained to the journalists that all of the loan granting conditions are explicitly defined by the loan agreement, and that the banks in their lending operations by no means break the laws regulating that domain: namely, the Law on Banks (Article 43 Interest and Fees) and the Law on the Protection of Financial Services Users (Article 19 Loan Agreement). Additionally, he cleared up the dilemma about the Articles 1065 and 1066 of the Law on Obligations caused by the controversial decision of the court in favour of the bank’s client, as well as by the malicious interpretation of the National Bank of Serbia’s letter as of 5 July 2017, in which the NBS simply made a proposal to standardise the method of charging fees in all banks, if possible, and in no way ordered nor prescribed the charging of this fee as forbidden.

Aside from that, Dr Dugalić pointed out the existing final verdicts on the same issue in favour of the banks (in particular, by the Commercial Court of Appeals in Belgrade: 2603/2013 as of 25 September 2013 and by the Higher Court in Jagodina as of 5 December 2017), which, however, nobody mentions nor discloses, although they very clearly expose the essence of the matter: "The second instance court does not accept the appellant’s claim that the bank, when concluding a loan agreement with the beneficiary, has the exclusive right to contract the contractual interest rate as the price of the funds invested. This because contractual interest is exactly the income from placements, but its contracting does not include the calculated operating costs, hence they can be contracted independently." (Court Practice of Commercial Courts - Bulletin No. 4/2013). In his speech Dr Dugalić also pointed out that the charging of loan processing fees is in accordance not only with the domestic regulations, but also with the EU directives regulating the functioning of the financial system, i.e. with the international practice of neighbouring and all other European countries, which he supported with a comparative analysis of the concerned fees, which are, generally in percent, charged by all neighbouring countries. While concluding the discussion on this topic, the ASB Secretary General repeated that there are absolutely no legal obstacles for banks to continue operating as before, in accordance with the regulations that clearly and unequivocally define the conditions of banking and lending operations, despite the malicious attempts for this to appear otherwise, thereby misleading the citizens.

Tables:

Legal entities and entrepreneurs credit balance sheet

Retail credit balance sheet by type of credit

Debt in respect of bank credits

Retail debt by type of credit

Share of defaults in credit debts

Individuals' debt according leasing contracts, credit cards and current accounts

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