It is common ground that laws ought to be formulated unambiguously and not give rise to interpretational doubts. Alas, in actual practice, a law which does not engender doubts is a rare creature indeed, and cohorts of lawyers are kept happily employed. This, more or less, is the case with art. 16 of the EU directive concerning refund of credit facility costs when the credit facility is repaid early, writes Bernadeta Kasztelan-Świetlik of GESSEL.

In late June, the Civil Rights Ombudsman presented to the Polish Supreme Court his position concerning interpretation of art. 49.1 of the legislative Act regarding consumer credit, which regulates refunds for consumers who repay their loans early.

The issue was being considered by the Supreme Court consequent to a query by the Regional Court in Warsaw, seeking guidance on whether, where the credit facility is repaid in its entirety ahead of the deadline stipulated in the agreement, the duty to refund the entire credit facility cost under art. 49 of the legislative Act regarding consumer credit applies only to costs spread out over time, or also to one-time cost items, such as commissions. The Civil Rights Ombudsman, and likewise the President of the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection and the Financial Ombudsman before him, have adopted the viewpoint that this duty ought to apply to all possible costs of the consumer credit, including one-off items such as commissions.

Yet the Civil Rights Ombudsman has pointed to EU law in this regard (...)