According to the National Bank of Ukraine, they will punish banks for violations of consumers’ rights, including unethical conduct in the settlement of overdue debt.
The National Bank will have the right to use measures of influence for violation of customers’ rights (including debtors). It can be either a written warning or a fine. Fines will range from 5,100 to 136,000 UAH, depending on the type of violation.
The need for changes arose with the adoption of the law ‘On the protection of debtors in settlement of overdue debts’ (March 19, 2021). This document is also called ‘anti debt collectors’ law. It provides new measures to influence credit lenders and debt collection agencies for violating consumer rights in settling overdue debts.
The resolution of the National Bank will come into force on July 14, simultaneously with the enactment of the law on protection of debtors.
What does the ‘anti-collection’ law provide?
- The National Bank of Ukraine will create a public register of collection agencies.
- The National Bank will supervise collectors and their behavior towards consumers. The National Bank will be able to fine or even exclude violators from the register.
- Collectors must adhere to ethical standards it their customers’ policies. Violation of these norms is punishable.
- Banks or financial institutions have to publish information on the collection agencies with which they cooperate.
- A new creditor has no right to involve the collection agency in the settlement of overdue debt, if the terms of the consumer loan agreement do not provide for such a right.
- The creditor and collection companies will be prohibited from processing personal data of third parties who did not give the right to such processing (relatives and friends of the debtor), as well as personal data of the client, schedule, place and time of rest, travel, meeting with friends, information from social networks).
- During the first interaction with a consumer, a creditor/collection agency must provide its name, name or index of the representative, the legal basis of the interaction, the amount of overdue debt and supporting documents.
- Personal meetings of a creditor/collection agency with the consumer are possible only from 9 am until 7 pm, with the previous agreement of a meeting.
Collection agencies will be prohibited to:
- carry out actions that encroach on the rights, freedoms and property of a consumer, his/her representative, heir, guarantor, as well as actions that endanger life, health, business reputation;
- use threats, blackmail, commit other illegal actions;
- mislead a debtor about the amount, nature and grounds for overdue debt, as well as the consequences that will occur in case of non-payment;
- call debtors in the evening and at night – in the period from 8 pm until 9 am;use a classified number;
- interact with a debtor (calls, messages, home visits) more than twice a day, as well as on weekends, holidays and non-working days;
- use automatic telephone calls for more than 30 minutes a day;
- use on envelopes or in messages images that may be perceived as containing a threat;
- require commitments from relatives, guarantors, representatives of the borrower, etc.