The National Bank of Ukraine launched the All-Ukrainian information campaign for the consumer rights protection in financial services "Know your rights: loans".
It will be a continuation of the first such campaign, which the National Bank conducted in 2021, and will continue in July-October 2022 in all regions of Ukraine.
The key task and goal of the campaign is to protect borrowers' rights and improve consumer knowledge about credit services.
An important direction of the campaign will be to explain the following issues: what to pay attention to when applying for a loan, what are credit holidays and restructuring, and their terms and procedure. Also, the National Bank, together with its partners, will explain how to check credit history and what to do in the case of a breach of the requirements for ethical behavior by a creditor or collector when interacting with a consumer.
Improving knowledge and skills in the area of credit services will help Ukrainians to better understand their rights as borrowers and make informed financial decisions.
"We are sure that informed consumers of credit services are more protected from financial risks. They better understand financial services, make informed financial decisions and can manage their money more judiciously. As a result, their financial situation will improve, which will contribute to the growth of the well-being of our country. That is why it is important for the National Bank to make consumers aware of the conditions for providing credit services," commented Yaroslav Matuzka, Deputy Chairman of the National Bank of Ukraine.
He added that during the war, lending has its own peculiarities. On the one hand, banks' appetite for risk is decreased, and on the other hand, credit demand of the population is also decreased. In order to restore retail lending, which contributes to increased consumption and, accordingly, to the development of the economy, it is necessary for consumers of credit services to be clearly aware of their rights and obligations to a financial institution and to be able to service loans even in the event of unforeseen situations.
"Consumers' appeals to the regulator regarding legal relations under credit agreements, as well as regarding the unethical behavior of individuals during the collection of overdue debts, constitute the lion's share of complaints against banks and non-bank financial institutions. Consumer lending, in its essence, carries increased risks precisely for the consumer, who is often not aware of the full value of the loan and his responsibility under the contract. That is why we pay special attention to this issue. Adoption and improvement of existing regulatory acts aimed at protecting consumer rights, as well as close supervision of the activities of credit market participants, make it possible to prevent violations and normalize processes, but there is still a lot of work ahead," said Olga Lobaichuk, head of NBU Financial Consumer Protection Division.
According to her, consumers should always make responsible decisions regarding the conclusion of a credit agreement, and creditors should transparently and qualitatively convey information about the full cost and terms of the service.
As part of the campaign, the National Bank launches a special web page (landing) "Know your rights: loans" with detailed information about credit services.
The campaign is supported by international partners - the International Finance Corporation (IFC) in partnership with the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) and the Fund for Effective Governance of the Government of Great Britain in Ukraine, as well as the European Union technical assistance project "Strengthening Regulation and Supervision of Non-Bank Financial market" (EU-FINREG).