Swiss francs: Not everyone lived to see justice done

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Unanimously adopting the amendment to the Law on the conversion of loans in Swiss francs into euros, the Parliament of Montenegro corrected great injustice caused to a large number of Montenegrin families, said for Dnevne Novine representative of damaged clients, Dragan Senic.

Clients are also grateful to the Supreme Court, says Mr. Senic, which with its legal attitude stood on their side, as well as the banking ombudsman who has contributed to the adoption of amendments to the faulty law.

“However, I feel great sadness that some of our fellow citizens never lived to see this justice done”, said Senic.

He notes he blames the Central Bank of Montenegro for cheating his clients.

“This supreme monetary institution, or more precisely, certain individuals therein, did not treat us professionally, starting with the promotion of high-risk and speculative banking products which were supposed to be banned. The Central Bank said on December 4, 2006 that this is valuable and even preferred approach to financing in many EU countries. Their department for supervision of commercial banks went so far as to announce that they will continue to offer similar products, more than ever”, added Senić.

He explains that Austria’s national bank warned its citizens back on January 31, 2006, that this is a high-risk product. It issued a warning in 350.000 copies, and the product was later banned in the country. Hypo Alpe-Adria Bank came from Austria and regardless of knowing this, started offering this product to Montenegrin citizens.

“The bank invented a currency risk because they got euros, and they gave this money (euros) to us, knowing how dangerous it is to invent and sell a product that you do not have. The Swiss Francs never came to Montenegro”, explained Senić.

The new amendment says customers who overpaid their loans will get their money back, and that penalty interest will not be charged. This means that all citizens who have loans with the HETA factoring company, or who paid them off ahead of time, can now convert their loans at an interest rate of 8.2 percent per year.

On the other hand, an amendment to treat HETA the same as a bank has not passed, although DPS did push the amendment to make penalties for violations of the company or its responsible person cumulative, and not calculated for each individual loan agreement, like it was previously suggested.

Source: Cafe Del Montenegro