Responsible Credit in European Law  

by Udo Reifner

Responsible Credit has been the lesson G20 drew from the world financial crisis in 2008. The crisis had indeed started with subprime credit in the USA. Its toxic contents contaminated all other financial products which are all based on a credit relation. This principle has conquered not only bank supervision but also contract law and seems to be able to prevent exploitation of States by private enterprises. But a closer look reveals that its meaning has changed. In its EU-codification at least it is no longer the usurious gambling financial product which the suppliers are blamed for. It is now the consumer who is blamed for his or her irresponsible borrowing. The ignorance and good faith of the victims of irresponsible banking are the target of responsible credit regulation. Banks are turned into guardians of decent consumer behaviour. They should watch out that credit-unworthy clients do not ask for a loan. This will achieve the opposite and help further deregulate banking law. The Consumer Credit and Mortgage Directives of 2008 and 2014, which replaced the promising 2002 draft, can be taken as an example. This essay provides an alternative historic path. Responsible Credit is part of the 2000 years of usury and gambling regulation. It is and has always been intended to prevent overindebtedness without excluding its victims from further credit.

DOI 10.23815/2421-2156.ITALJ           ISSN 2421-2156

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