How transparent is the information on interest rates and costs in consumer credit advertising? What are the experiences of regulators and consumer organizations with the regulation in their countries and are there best practices in other EU Member States?
ConPolicy examined these questions in a comparative study for Belgium, Germany, Austria and Great Britain on behalf of ING-DiBa Austria. For this purpose, legal reports on the respective national legislation were obtained and expert interviews with representatives of supervisory authorities and consumer organizations in the four countries where conducted.
The results show that the requirements of the EU Consumer Credit Directive as well as the different transpositions into national law do not completely prevent advertising with so-called "doorbusters". For example, providers often advertise with low interest rates and unrealistic examples. The graphical representation of important standard information is often not implemented in a consumer friendly manner. Especially in Germany and Austria, these abuses are also due to a lack of enforcement of the existing regulation.
The study also includes recommendations for action to make consumer credit advertising more transparent and consumer-friendly in the future.
The full study is available here (in German with an executive summary in English).
The study in the media:
derStandard - Konsumentenschutz bei Verbraucherkrediten kommt oft zu kurz
Fonds Professionell Online - Verbraucherkredite: Falsche Zinsberechnung und Lockangebote
Boerse-express - Verbraucherkredite: Fehlende Transparenz in der Werbung
Tiroler Tageszeitung - Bankstudie stößt sich an Verbraucherkreditwerbung