- Published: 03.09.2021.
Government continues to work hard on consumer protection, legislative changes for tacitly agreed overdrafts if necessary
Prime Minister Andrej Plenković said on Thursday at the beginning of his cabinet's meeting that amendments to the relevant legislation could be made regarding tacitly accepted overdrafts of consumers.
Earlier on Thursday, Plenković met with Croatian National Bank (HNB) Governor Boris Vujčić, and he informed his cabinet that they had agreed that the HNB would provide the Ministry of Finance with a thorough analysis of this topic that has made headlines recently.
The government is seeking best solutions, and if necessary, we will change the law, he added.
The premier mentioned a possibility of reducing the effective interest rate, which would also include the fee, in the way that it would not adversely affect clients who use the instrument of tacitly agreed overdraft.
The solution must enable better dissemination of information and a lower interest rate, according to Plenković.
On Monday, the HNB recommended that until regulations on tacitly accepted overdrafts were amended, commercial banks should apply the effective interest rate and make it possible for their clients to cover those overdrafts through instalment payments or reduce overdrafts. The central bank also noted that reports about mass-scale cancellation of overdrafts by banks were not true.
This issue as well as the HNB's initiative to amend the relevant regulations in order to set the maximum interest charged on tacitly accepted overdrafts have stirred up a lot of discussion in the public.
Plenković said that the government was committed to the protection of consumers and added that he convened a meeting for the next week with representatives of the commercial banks that offer tacitly agreed overdrafts to their clients.
He went on to say that according to the information presented by Vujčić, the range of interest rates on overdrafts in Croatia were practically within the average in the EU, and that the amount in overdrafts decreased by two billion kuna in the nominal terms in the last years.