CJEU: decisions regarding Swiss franc loans up to national courts

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Swiss franc mortgage owners might get some of their money back4TVN24 News in English
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The Court of Justice of the European Union has said that it's up to national courts to decide whether or not to nullify unfair Swiss-franc loans.

The EU top court ruled on Thursday that decisions regarding bank loans taken in foreign currencies based on unfair rules should be made by national courts.

"The effects of a finding by a court of the existence of an unfair clause in a contract concluded between a business and a consumer are governed by national law, and the continuation of such a contract should be assessed... by the national court," the CJEU said in a statement.

Furthermore, according to the CJEU, holders of loans in foreign currencies should be informed about possible consequences of contract nullification by national courts.

The decision green-lights Poland's Supreme Court guidelines regarding the Swiss-franc mortgages cases that are to be issued on May 11. Therefore, coming weeks will be crucial for both the banks and mortgage borrowers, as the courts will learn how to proceed in said cases.

The decision affects thousands of Polish borrowers who had taken Swiss-franc loans over a decade ago, attracted by low interest rates. Once the Polish zloty weakened against the Swiss currency, the clients had to face a sharp increase in their monthly payments.

"The CJEU clearly indicated that annulment of a bank loan contract should be a last resort, and taking such decisions by the court should not depend on clients' demands" - said deputy chief of the Polish Bank Association Tadeusz Białek.

Poland's Swiss-franc borrowers association said in a statement regarding Thursday's ruling that "the CJEU has ruled that unfair provisions of a loan cannot be annulled with contract amendment, if the consumer had not been informed about its aim and consequences".

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Źródło: TVN24 News in English, PAP

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