Banking Services and Lease Purchases
Rights of financial consumers (natural persons, farmers and entrepreneurs) of banking, financial leasing and vendor services (but only in sale through financial arrangement), including payment institutions and electronic money institutions, as well as the manner of protecting these rights are regulated by the Law on the Protection of Financial Services Consumers (RS Official Gazette, No 36/2011), Law Amending the Law on the Protection of Financial Services Consumers (RS Official Gazette, No 139/2014) and Law on Payment Services (RS Official Gazette, No 139/2014).
With the adoption of these laws, the regulatory framework for the protection of financial services consumers has been upgraded.
The above laws and relevant secondary legislation:
- broaden the protection of consumers to farmers and entrepreneurs, in addition to natural persons;
- ensure the protection of rights not only of consumers of banking, financial leasing and vendor services (in case of consumer borrowing), but also consumers of services provided by payment institutions, electronic money institutions and the public postal operator in respect of the provision of payment services and issue of electronic money;
- improve the method of informing consumers, in all phases of the contractual relationship (in the pre-contractual phase, during the contractual relationship etc);
- ensure precise contracting of pecuniary obligations (nominal interest rates, fees and commissions) and envisage that agreements may no longer contain reference to the business policy as regards compulsory agreement elements;
- further define that pecuniary contractual obligations be agreed in such a way that they are definable or defined;
- set forth the conditions and manner of calculating the effective interest rate and stipulate the form of offer, overview of compulsory agreement elements and the credit repayment schedule / deposit payment schedule;
- establish special rules of financial services consumers (right to withdrawal, early repayment, the same type of the exchange rate etc);
- stipulate the obligation for banks – in respect of liabilities due for repayment as of the application date of this Law under credit agreements indexed to a foreign currency and concluded before the application date of the Law on the Protection of Financial Services Consumers (5 December 2011) – to apply the same exchange rate as the rate used at the time of granting the credit (buying, middle or selling exchange rate) or the exchange rate that is more favourable for the consumer than the one used at the time of granting the credit;
- establish efficient mechanisms to protect rights and interests of financial services consumers etc.
The protection of rights and interests of consumers of bank services – legal persons is governed by the Law on Banks (RS Official Gazette, Nos 107/2005 и 91/2010 76/2012, 106/2012 and 14/2015) and the Decision Specifying the Terms and Manner of Handling Customer Complaints by Banks, which specifies in more details the terms and manner of handling customer complaints by banks, as well as procedures applied by the National Bank of Serbia in protecting consumer rights and interests.
Useful information on banking services, financial leasing operations and payment services is available on the National Bank of Serbia’s website for financial education of citizens: www.tvojnovac.nbs.rs.