Franc loans are in fact not foreign currency loans, but indexed or denominated loans.
What is the difference?
- An indexed loan is a loan, which is paid out in the Polish zloty (PLN), the bank converts the amount of debt at the purchase rate of the Swiss franc (indexation). The loan instalment is therefore calculated in Swiss francs and on the instalment payment date it is converted into zlotys (PLN) in accordance with the bank’s table of exchange rates.
- A denominated loan is a loan where the requested loan amount expressed in zlotys is converted into Swiss francs and expressed in an estimated way. Therefore, the denominated amount is not determined on the contract conclusion date, and the amount paid out and repaid by the borrower is expressed in zlotys (PLN), and the instalments are converted from Swiss francs into zlotys (PLN) at the sale rate.
Most indexed and denominated loan agreements do not use a uniform measure of value to determine the liabilities on both the bank’s and the borrower’s side. These measures vary considerably: the bank’s liabilities are converted at a lower-than-average purchase rate for the foreign currency. In the case of the borrower, they are converted at the selling rate, which will obviously be higher. As a result, the bank gains and the borrower loses. This arrangement is the result of unfair contractual terms, which are not binding on consumers and constitute grounds for the recovery of overpaid instalments.
Statute of limitations
Despite the shortening of the statutory limitation periods, in the case of Swiss franc loan agreements for instalments repaid before the amendment to the Civil Code came into force, we have the opportunity to recover overpaid instalments over a period not exceeding 10 years, so it is worth to act quickly.