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New legislation

16 Sep 2011

On 1 September, 2011, the Board of the Bank of Lithuania approved the Regulations for Responsible Lending (hereinafter referred to as the Regulations) aimed at promoting responsible lending practices, market discipline and transparency of credit institutions. Regulations intend to protect consumers from excessive financial burden and to develop responsible lending principles, and apply only to credits for natural persons (households). Regulations shall apply to the banks of the Republic of Lithuania, branches of foreign banks, the Central Credit Union and credit unions.

Article 6 of the Regulations defines that responsible lending is the development in lending of credit institutions, when availability of a credit is subject to certain provisions, which constitutes the prerequisites for a proper evaluation of borrower's solvency and preventing the possibility for excessive credit risk. Article 7 of the Regulations identifies seven provisions under which the responsible lending is based.

Regulations also establish the obligation of credit institutions to calculate the ratio between the value of credit and pledged assets, which should not exceed the maximum limit. In addition, credit institutions have a duty to assess the ratio between the interest rate to be paid by the credit beneficiary and his income. Regulations furthermore define the maximum credit period, the rules for the evaluation of the borrower, and identify information, which must be provided to the credit beneficiary by a credit institution.

With the exception of Chapter VII, the Regulations for Responsible Lending shall come into force on 1 November, 2011. Chapter VII of the Regulations shall take effect on 1 March, 2012.

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