The Court maintains the maximum annual percentage rate (“APR”) of 27% set by the CBCS, while adjusting the transition period and establishing

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WILLEMSTAD, PHILIPSBURG РBy decisions addressed to the lenders of Cura̤ao and Sint Maarten, the Centrale Bank van Cura̤ao en Sint Maarten (CBCS) has set a maximum APR of 27%. The maximum APR corresponds to the total cost of the loan, expressed as an annual percentage of the total amount of the loan. The maximum APR is intended to protect consumers from usurious interest rates and excessive credit costs.

Four lenders have appealed against this measure by the CBCS to the highest court. On February 1, 2021, the Common Court of Justice ruled1 in this case that:

1. The CBCS had “rightly tipped the scales against the appellants and the other lenders and in the interests of consumer protection. […]. “and that the CBCS was” authorized to determine that a maximum APR of 27% will be associated with the exemption “;

2. The effective date (as amended) will be June 1, 2021;

3. A maximum APR of 45%, in effect until June 1, 2023, is determined for loans with a term of three months or less.

The Court’s specific treatment of the effective date and the temporary application of a different percentage for three-month loans is limited to the appellants concerned; other notified lenders remain fully bound by the 27% APR cap on all consumer loans.

This court ruling shed some light after years of litigation. The CBCS will monitor adherence to maximum APRs both to protect consumers from excessive credit costs and to promote a healthy and trustworthy financial system.

Questions about the maximum APRs can be submitted in writing to the CBCS at cbcs@centralbank.cw.


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