“Delovoy Peterburg” publishes comments made by Yevgeny Zverev to an article titled “Plastic ex maintenence fee”

7 December 2011

Plastic ex maintenance fee

Arbitration court of St.-Petersburg and Leningrad region declared card maintenance fee to be illegal. It can lead to an increase in rates on credits of commercial banks.

In early December an award of Arbitration court of St.-Petersburg and Leningrad region came into effect, which declared card maintenance fee charged by Alpha-bank to be illegal.

The court stated that “No debit card maintenance fee is provided by the Civil Code of Russian Federation, or any other federal laws and regulations.”Alpha-bank refused to make comments as to this decision and the way it will be enforced.

According to Yevgeny Zverev, Senor Associate of S&K Vertikal, the bank is most likely to cancel commission fee for all card users.

The bank made a mistake

Proceedings were triggered by complaint filed to Rospotrebnadzor by one of the Alpha-bank client in St-Petersburg. A plastic card holder was unhappy with contract provisions that stipulated his obligation to pay monthly account maintenance fee to the bank. Having analyzed the conditions for the use of the card established by the bank, officials ordered the bank to delete commission fee from the contract.

Alpha-bank disagreed with these requirements believing that borrower’s rights were not violated, and applied to Arbitration court which has finally supported the consumer.

Cost of credits may rise

Rospotrebnadzor won another victory in their combat against bank commission fees.

The regulatory agency has earlier successfully defended in courts their concept of banks being only entitled to charge clients a fee for using credits, in the form of percentage of outstanding loan debts, while any other bank commission fees, charges imposed subject to credit contracts, etc., are illegal.

Scores of banks were fined for charging clients for granting a loan. As a result, many banker gave up on this fee. Now the regulatory agency is about to deny lending institutions the right of charging clients for plastic card maintenance.

Vladimir Dzhikovich,President of the North-West Commercial Banks Association, says that plastic card maintenance fee is common practice for the majority of banks.

“We are surprised by the court ruling. There is a need for the law on consumer lending, to avoid such disputes,” believes the expert.

“We offer products both with and without monthly maintenance fee. Holders of credit cards with maintenance fee are charged lower interest on credit cards,” said Pavel Belyaeya, director of product and service development at Home Credit Bank.

This is to say that bankers increase their interest rates to make up for cancellation of commission fees.

Pavel Netupsky

“Delovoy Peterburg” no. 206 (3481) of December 07, 2011 . 

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