March 16, 2021
The case initiated by DelfinGroup helps to bring clarity to the non-banking financial sector
On 28 January 2021, the Department of Administrative Cases of the Senate of the Republic of Latvia (Senate) issued the judgment SKA-68/2021 in an administrative case initiated on the basis of an application of AS DelfinGroup (formerly SIA ExpressCredit) for a Consumer Rights Protection Center (PTAC) annulment of the 2016 and 2017 decisions in part (Judgment).
The legal issues examined in the Judgment included the interpretation of the commission applied in the commercial activities of AS “DelfinGroup” for the extension of consumer loan agreements and assignment of claims arising from consumer loan agreements on the mutual lending platform www.mintos.com or other platforms with the same content. Consequently, the essence of the administrative case was precisely about the understanding of legal issues and not about the non-fulfilment of the conditions of the PTAC.
Since 2016, when the contested PTAC decisions of AS “DelfinGroup” were adopted, the company has complied with both the instructions specified in the PTAC decisions and the conclusions expressed in the Judgment regarding the interpretation of legal norms. AS “DelfinGroup” has always cooperated with PTAC and has complied with the instructions of PTAC regarding the provision of consumer lending services. In addition, AS “DelfinGroup” emphasizes that it respects the opinion and authority of both the Senate and PTAC regarding the legal issues discussed in the Judgment.
Thus, upon the entry into force of the Judgment, AS “DelfinGroup” does not have to introduce corrections in its activities, as it has already ensured the compliance of its activities with the 2016 and 2017 decisions before the commencement of legal proceedings. It follows that the rights of consumers were not infringed during the proceedings, but the essence of the question was the theoretical harm to consumers which might arise from assignment of claims to other creditors and whether the total cost of the loan to consumers includes the cost of extending the loan.
Therefore, as indicated by the Chairman of the Management Board of AS “DelfinGroup” Didzis Ādmīdiņš: “Consumer protection and fair commercial practice towards each cooperation partner is the priority of AS “DelfinGroup” and the company has always followed the instructions received from supervisory authorities regarding the implementation of precise and responsible commercial practices.”