The supreme court judges credit advertising with “ab-interest rate” as inadmissible
Vienna (OTS / VKI) – The Association for Consumer Information (VKI) had sued the Santander Consumer Bank GmbH on behalf of the Ministry of Social Affairs because of the application of loans on the homepage of their website. The Supreme Court (OGH) has now confirmed that the advertising is illegal in two respects: On the one hand, the mandatory minimum information is not displayed conspicuously. On the other hand, the representative example prescribed by the legislature is inadequate because it does not contain the interest rate typically granted, but the lowest possible (“ex-interest rate”). The judgment is final.
A loan calculator is attached to the homepage of “santanderconsumer.at”, which shows the monthly rate for a loan amount to be entered in large, bold font. Below that, further information on the loan product is given in the form of a footnote with significantly smaller font and significantly less contrast. Among other things, there is also an example calculation with a borrowing rate of “from 2.99%”.
According to the Consumer Credit Act, certain standard information must be named “conspicuously using a representative example” as soon as the cost of a loan is advertised. According to the Supreme Court, advertising by the Santander Consumer Bank is illegal for two reasons:
On the one hand, the information contained in the footnote has a significantly smaller font size compared to the eye-catching highlighted monthly rate and is therefore not as conspicuous as required by law.
On the other hand, figures are to be chosen for the representative example that the consumer addressed by the advertisement can assume typical loan terms for the loan advertised. However, the Santander Bank cites an example with the lowest possible interest rate and had admitted in the proceedings itself that the stated interest rate is not the average interest rate applicable. The use of a borrowing rate “depending on creditworthiness from 2.99%” can only be understood by a consumer to mean that it is a minimum borrowing rate that is not granted regularly, but only with the most favorable creditworthiness. It is therefore not a – legally required – “representative example”.
“We have loan agreements from the Santander Consumer Bank where the borrowing rate was between 8.3 and 12.49 percent. These values are far from the stated 2.99 percent, ”says Dr. Beate Gelbmann, head of the complaints department at the VKI. “Using the prescribed representative example, consumers should be able to get a meaningful impression of the economic burden they will face even when they advertise a loan. That was not the case with the advertising of the Santander Consumer Bank. “
SERVICE: The full text of the judgment is available at www.verbübersrecht.at.
Inquiries & contact:
Association for consumer information
[ source link ]
VKI Supreme Court confirms breach law loan advertising Santander Bank