Credit providers nowadays seem to be more tactful with the financial interests of consumers. The number of credit complaints that the economic inspection reached last year decreased by 16% compared to 2014. As there was no noticeable adjustment to the FPS Economy in 2015, the substantial decrease can be entirely attributed to improved mode of the credit system. However, the service does not yet speak of a trend.
Who complained about what in 2015?
In total, 390 Belgians filed a credit complaint at the economic inspection last year. About a quarter related to the notorious ‘black list’, the registration list of the Central Individual Credit Register (CKP), where banks are required to report all structural irregularities in credit repayments. In most cases, consumers believed that they were wrongly on the list or that the total amount of debts recorded was too high.
Of the other complaints, a significant part was directly related to consumer credit (installment loans, credit openings). Borrowers complained about:
- Incorrectly claimed payments
- To be incompletely informed about costs in advance
- Problems with early repayment of a loan
- Misleading advertising
- Recurring costs on a canceled credit opening (credit card, cash reserve)
Less successful for online scammers in 2015
A notable figure on the list of the Federal Public Service Economy is the decrease in the number of complaints about scams to 16. In 2014, there were still 37. However, here too, the service is limiting optimism, and asking consumers to remain especially alert. It is still common for foreign scammers to offer credits with guaranteed approval via social media and e-mail. An ‘insurance premium’ must first be paid, after which it suddenly becomes very quiet.
The majority of complaints about credit institutions now reach the economic inspection online. The FPS Economy has set up a special reporting point for this, which can be reached directly via meldpunt.belgie.be or with a click through via the service’s general website. At the hotline, the known scenarios of inaccuracy, deception, fraud, fraud and fraud within the credit system are indicated with practical examples, so that complaints can be passed on faster and more effectively.