Transparency in the banking services
Conditions and terms that the Banks must meet in order to be transparent.
In this article, we would like to provide an overview of the conditions and terms that the Banks must meet in order to be transparent while providing products and services.
General transparency requirements:
- Banks publish in a visible and clear way on their websites and in their workplaces information on interest rates on loans and deposits, as well as commissions and fees on products and services they offer to their customers.
- Banks ensure that such information, terms and conditions of products and services, including rights and responsibilities of the customers, are Complete and Accurate, and in an understandable language to the customers. Legal or technical language shall be used only when it is necessary.
- Before the customer opts for a product or service, Banks must provide them in advance with full information on the terms, conditions and interest rates, any related risks with receiving the product or service, as well as with information on commissions and penalties in cases where the latter become applicable.
- In case the customer applies for a loan in a currency other than the one he/she generates income, and when the bank assesses that his/her capacity to hedge against exchange rate risks is insufficient, alternatively the Bank offers to the customer a loan comparable to the currency that his/her income is generated.
- In cases when the terms for providing banking or financial products and services change, the Bank must notify:*
a) Individually: Each customer that is subject to these changes, according to the set terms and form specified in the contract between the parties (in writing, through fixed means of communication or telephone messages) and documented by the Bank;
b) By posting: Notices or brochures on the bank premises, in the official website or through the mass media.
* Banks must not change, without the consent of the customer and during the term of the loan contract/agreement, the method or methodology of calculating the interest rate and/or its constituent items, which are agreed with the customers at the moment of signing the loan contract/agreement.
In addition to the general transparency requirements, the Bank of Albania, through The Regulation of the Bank of Albania no. 59, dated 29.08.2008 "On the transparency of banking and financial products and services" , sets the specific terms for:
- The method for calculating and publishing the effective interest rate on loans.
- Mandatory elements of the Loan Agreement.
- Mandatory elements of the Deposit Agreement.
- Mandatory elements of the Current Account Agreement.