A mortgage credit is often the most important financial operation for a common consumer.
The Commission has therefore undertaken a series of initiatives aimed at ensuring that consumers make an informed choice.
In 2001 the Commission endorsed with a Recommendation
the guidelines on harmonised information on "home loans" (mortgage or housing credit) to be made available by lenders to consumers.
The guidelines were agreed in the form of a Voluntary Code of Conduct between the EU mortgage-lending industry and consumer groups.
Their aim is to make it easier for consumers to compare loan products available from different lenders, including lenders from other
Member States and to allow consumers to make an informed choice.
the Code of Conduct
When signing up to the Code, mortgage lenders commit themselves to giving prospective
borrowers two sets of information before they sign a contract:
General information as to the different types of products offered including the types of interest rate
(fixed, variable or combinations thereof) and all additional costs associated with taking up a mortgage credit.
Personalised information for the specific product the consumer is interested in, indicating for example the
exact amounts to be paid over the full time span of the loan, as well as any possibility and conditions
for early repayment.
The Commission is responsible for monitoring implementation of the Code and has published
list of mortgage lenders
committed to respecting the Code.
In 2003 the Commission commissioned a
aimed at investigating the implementation of the
Voluntary Code of Conduct by mortgage lenders.
In 2005 the Commission published a
on mortgage credit with the aim of exploring the need for possible future initiatives in this field.
In 2006 the Commission launched a Mortgage Dialogue
between the lending industry and consumers, with the aim of finding common solutions to some specific issues, such as, for example, pre-contractual
information and advice.
For more information on home-loans, click here