Incredit Group fined EUR 16,000 for unfair commercial practices

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The Consumer Rights Protection Centre (PTAC) has imposed an obligation on the “Incredit group” to end unfair commercial practices and a fine of EUR 16,000 for disguising consumer advertising as lending advertising to economic operators, the PTAC said January 12.

The PTAC assessed the commercial practices implemented by the Incredit group and proposed an administrative case against the company regarding the distribution of inappropriate lending advertising to radio, Youtube and Facebook, creating advertising in such a way as to try to circumvent the ban on lending advertising and promoting irresponsible borrowing.

In the course of the proceedings, the PTAC found that distributed lending ads did not comply with the requirements of the Consumer Rights Protection Law, thereby violating the requirements of the Advertising Law and the Unfair Commercial Practices Prohibition Act.

Although advertisements for the Incredit group indicate that it is an offer for economic operators, visual, auditory and textual information showed a clear message addressed to consumers, said PTAC.

With a view to protecting the average consumer, the amendments to the Law of October 4, 2018, provided for the protection of the consumer and their economic interests by imposing a general ban on consumer lending advertising, while allowing for certain exceptions.

PTAC noted that Incredit group advertising was distributed on three different platforms aimed at reaching a wide range of consumers. Audio advertising was distributed to 5 different radio stations in Latvian and Russian, thus covering consumers of different ages and social groups.

Taking into account the duration, circumstances, and nature of the infringement and the fact that the Incredit group does not admit its guilt, the PTAC concluded that the infringement committed by the Incredit group was considered to be serious.

Thus, the total amount of the fine for the Incredit group is set at EUR 16,000.

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