Moratoria. Ombudsman clarifies the scope of bank loans to higher education students
The Ombudsman consulted the Secretary of State for Finance, in order to ascertain the Secretary of State for Finance’s interpretation of the current version of Decree-Law no. 10-J/2020, of 26.03, and received a clarification from him, in line with the Ombudsman’s interpretation, that bank loans to higher education students are included within the scope of the public moratorium.
This request arose from a complaint against Caixa Geral de Depósitos (CGD), which had repeatedly rejected a request for a moratorium on a loan granted under the credit scheme for higher education students, as it had been made using the mutual guarantee system, arguing that the "product Training Credit with Mutual Guarantee is not eligible for the Public Moratorium (Decree-Law no. 10-J/2020), as it is not covered by the public moratorium. 10-J/2020), given that this product is not covered by Decree Law no. 133/2009, of 2 June, considering that it falls under the exclusion of paragraph n) of no. 1 of art. 2 of this decree".
Once the clarification from the Secretary of State for Finances had been received, the Ombudsman informed the CGD, appealing for a due correction to be made in the specific case and in the procedures for analysis of requests for moratorium of analogous credits, in order that these may still benefit from this support measure, within the current legal time limit.
At the beginning of March, the Portuguese Banking Association was also requested to collaborate with its associated credit institutions in order to disseminate the position expressly taken by the Secretary of State for Finance before the Ombudsman, a position that is welcomed as it leaves no room for doubt as to the possibility of loans granted under the credit regime for higher education students using the mutual guarantee system benefiting from the legal moratorium.