Polish anti-monopoly watchdog fines Santander for consumer loans

Albert Zawada/PAP

Santander Consumer Bank has been fined PLN 44 million (EUR 9.7 million) by the Polish anti-monopoly office (UOKiK) for including hidden costs in consumer loans and for misleading customers. 

An UOKiK investigation found that Santander had been including the costs of insurance in the overall amount of its consumer loans. Moreover, some consumers were receiving offers for loans but ultimately the loans were not granted to them or had different conditions than those originally offered, the UOKiK said.

As a result of its investigation, the anti-monopoly office has fined Santander PLN 38.2 million (EUR 8.4 million) for including insurance costs and PLN 5.9 million (EUR 1.3 million) for misleading customers.

"The amount of the fine results from the fact that the bank applied these questionable practices for a long time. It has been including the costs of insurance in the total amount of consumer loans since 2016 while misleading information on loan conditions had been sent to customers from January 2015 to September 2018," the UOKiK said in a press release.

The UOKiK decisions are not final and companies can appeal them in court.