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Credit institutions required to provide information on credit moratoria

By means of Notice No 2/2020, the Banco de Portugal established that credit institutions are required to disclose to their customers the moratoria applicable to credit operations contracted by private and business customers, created as a response to the Covid-19 pandemic. 

In accordance with these rules, which come into force today, institutions must disclose information about the characteristics of the different moratoria that they make available to their customers, always identifying whether public or private in nature, their application requirements and procedures, as well as the impacts of such moratoria on the instalment amount and the repayment period for credit operations. It is also mandatory to provide information on the impact of private moratoria on any collateral provided.

The information must be provided at the credit institutions’ branches, websites, home banking and mobile applications. The institutions must also make customers aware of these options by contacting customers with credit operations covered by public or private moratoria through the usual communication channels (email, short message service (SMS) or any other means).

As regards the application procedures for the moratoria, credit institutions are required to communicate whether or not they are applicable to customers via a durable medium. If the moratorium is applied, customers must be informed of its impact on the credit operation and, where applicable, the guarantees. In credit operations with a guarantor as guarantee, the guarantor must also be informed of the impacts of the moratoria on the contract and the guarantor. In cases where the moratorium is not applied, the grounds for non-application must be given.

Credit institutions are also required to ensure that customers' questions are answered by creating sections of frequently asked questions about the application of moratoria on their website. The obligation to provide assistance to customers must be ensured by providing support by phone or human-assisted chat.

The disclosure and reporting requirements on moratoria established in the framework of the Covid 19 pandemic response measures are laid down in Notice No 2/2020, approved by the Banco de Portugal on 28 April 2020 and entering into force today. These requirements cover both public moratoria, established by Decree-Law No 10-J/2020, and private moratoria that follow the recommendations of the European Banking Authority and that have to be reported to the Banco de Portugal.