COVID - 19 - Protection measures for banking customers
Legal alert no. 162
The Decree-Law no 70-B/2021 was published on 6th August establishing protection measures for bank customers covered by the exceptional measures of economic and financial support and protection in the context of Covid-19 and amending the regime of regularization of credit agreements default situations.
Within the context of the termination of the measures that allowed the moratoriums on credits of families and companies, Decree-Law no. 70-B/2021 establishes that credit institutions shall monitor customers subject to bank moratoriums. Thus, the duties of monitoring customers are increased, namely through the identification of signs of deterioration of the financial capacity of customers. The regularity of the monitoring will be defined by Bank of Portugal.
The Decree-Law also prohibits the increase in the interest rate and identifies the signs that credit institutions should monitor to identify a deterioration in the financial capacity of customers. Additionally, provides examples of the proposals that may be present to customers, within 15 days, to prevent or regularize default and subsequent assessment to verify the efficacy of the measures
The reporting duties to Bank of Portugal on the quantitate information on the implemented measures are reinforced.
On the other hand, the regimes that regulate the Action Plan for the Risk of Default (PARI) mechanism and the Extrajudicial Procedure for the Regularization of Situations of Default mechanism(PERSI) are adjusted and updated.
Finally, the extrajudicial support network for bank customers is updated and consumer dispute information and arbitration centres are included in its composition. The network will be coordinated by the Directorate-General for Consumers and cooperation mechanisms may be established with Banco de Portugal. Additionally, a duty to inform bank customers about the support provided within the scope of the extrajudicial support network for bank customers is created.
The Decree-Law no. 70-B/2021 entered into force the day after its publication.