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Beware of quick loans.

15 March 2022

The Financial Ombudsman has received indications of increased activity by entities offering quick and easily accessible loans to refugees arriving from Ukraine. Let us remember that the current situation is aggravated by the actions of dishonest entities which take advantage of the difficult position of the victims of the war and may offer them contracts on very unfavourable terms. Here are some tips to avoid a dishonest lender:

  1. Verify the entity with which you intend to enter into a contract. For this purpose you can use the register of loan institutions on the PFSA website at the address: https://rpkip.knf.gov.pl/index.html?type=RIP. Remember that Poland has the Consumer Credit Act, which imposes certain obligations on lenders. One of them is the obligation to be entered in the register of the PFSA. If the company you intend to enter into a contract with is not on the register, this is a sign that it may be operating illegally.
  2. If you do not speak Polish and the contract is drawn up in that language only, ask your family, a friend or another third party who speaks Polish and Ukrainian to read it to you, translate it and assist you in entering into the contract.
  3. Remember that before entering into a contract you can request information from the lender on the financing offered and you should receive a so-called information form, which contains all the most important information, terms and conditions and parameters of the loan.
  4. Pay attention to the terms and conditions of the loan, in particular the amount of the loan costs and the interest rate. Remember that there are maximum cost limits in Poland. What is worth noting?
    1. The maximum cost limit for a loan is 25% of the loan amount plus an additional 30% for each year of duration. In addition, the lender may charge interest at a maximum rate of 14% (as at 9 March 2022).
    2. The total cost of the loan specified in the contract may not exceed the total amount of the loan. If you borrowed PLN 100, the total non-interest cost of the loan is a maximum of PLN 100 + interest.
    3. There is no legal obligation to enter into contracts with additional services such as contracts imposing extra costs in the form of insurance fees, loan servicing fees, e.g. for a visit to the place of residence;
  1. Remember that a contract should be in writing or in another durable medium and you should receive a copy.
  2. If you need help with your contract, you can take the following steps:
    1. If you believe you have been a victim of a crime, such as fraud, contact the Police or the Public Prosecutor’s Office and report the crime;
    2. If you find that a contract is unfair, contrary to consumer law, file a complaint with the lender, and if you do not receive a response or it is negative, you can ask for help or intervention from the municipal or district consumer ombudsman or the Financial Ombudsman. You can find out more about the Financial Ombudsman’s intervention procedures and a model application on the website at: https://rf.gov.pl/en/intervention-procedure/


The Financial Ombudsman’s website in Ukrainian
Online safety. Beware of cybercriminals!
An illusory insurance contract to a loan. The court agreed with the Financial Ombudsman and ruled in favour of the borrower who was ill.