EU crackdown results in higher consumer credit website compliance

Following a crackdown by the European Union on websites that offer consumer loans, more than 75 percent of all of the sites checked one year ago now comply with the law.

In 2011, the EU led and conducted, in conjunction with national enforcement authorities, a sweep of 565 websites across 27 member states, Norway and Iceland. The investigation, which was conducted in order to identify breaches in consumer law, found that only 30 percent of sites offering consumer credit provided consumers with adequate materials and information related to the cost of the loans, according to Europa.

Problems identified by the sweep included missing information in credit advertising, the omission of key information related to the offer and misleading presentation of the costs associated with the credit offer.

Of the 70 percent of sites flagged during the sweep, 10 percent were eventually deemed compliant, 35 percent were corrected after enforcement action by national authorities, three percent no longer exist and 22 percent are still subject to ongoing legal proceedings, Europa reports.

In the latest check, websites in Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, France, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Portugal and Romania were found to be completely compliant. Countries with the lowest compliance rates include Denmark, Finland, Hungary, Norway, Spain and the U.K.