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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.

Agreement DA DE ES FI FR IT NL PT SV pdf on 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:

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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.

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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 the list of mortgage lenders committed to respecting the Code.

In 2003 the Commission commissioned a survey PDF (1,8MB) aimed at investigating the implementation of the Voluntary Code of Conduct by mortgage lenders.

In 2005 the Commission published a Green Paper 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

 
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