J.W.-Yhtiöt, an instant loan company, has violated a ban imposed on it in 2012 by the Market Court regarding the information that it provided in its marketing. On application of the Consumer Ombudsman, the Market Court ruled that J.W.-Yhtiöt must pay a conditional fine of EUR 50,000. Furthermore, the Market Court increased the conditional fine from EUR 50,000 to EUR 100,000 in order to intensify the ban.
In 2018, J.W.-Yhtiöt marketed instant loans under the name of Suomilimiitti on TV and on trams in violation of a ban imposed by the Market Court. The advertisement failed to state the key information on and the terms of the consumer credit being marketed. In the spring, the unlawful advertisement was shown on three TV channels a total of 117 times. In late autumn, the unlawful advertisement was on display on 12 trams on various lines for two weeks. The advertisements sought to attract the attention of consumers by taking advantage of an image of Matti Nykänen.
According to law, the basic information pertaining to the offered credit must be presented clearly, visibly, and concisely in marketing. The actual annual percentage rate, the credit percentage rate, and other credit fees are considered basic information. The terms must correspond precisely with the credit company's standard terms of credit.
The advertising campaign run by J.W.-Yhtiöt was clearly in violation of law. The company has admitted that its conduct was in violation of the Consumer Protection Act and the ban imposed on it, and that it approves of the fact that the conditional fine be ruled to be paid. The Market Court handed down its decision (MAO:484/19) on 8 November 2019.
J.W.-yhtiöt may also be subject to a class action
The Consumer Ombudsman is also considering filing a class action against a Suomilimiitti running account credit of EUR 2,000 being granted by J.W.-Yhtiöt, the credit costs of which are considered unreasonable. The initiation of a class action requires that an adequately large group of consumers opts in to the suit. To ensure this, the Consumer Ombudsman is seeking consumers who have participated in the credit plans in question and requests that they opt in to the class action by 22 November 2019.
Press release issued on 17 April 2019: The Finnish Consumer Ombudsman is petitioning for the penalty payment of 50,000 euros imposed on the instant credit company J.W.-Yhtiöt Oy
Press release issued on 23 October 2019: Finnish Consumer Ombudsman intervenes in unreasonable instant credit plan costs – preliminary opt-in for class action begins