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Loans denominated in foreign currency

Between 2008 and 2009, French bank BNP PARIBAS sold foreign currency mortgage loans to consumers.

Based on the supposedly stable foreign exchange rate between the euro and the Swiss franc, BNP PARIBAS promoted the loans as “the best offer on the market”. Consumers were, however, not informed about risks if the Swiss currency suddenly started fluctuating.

From 2010 to 2011, the value of the Swiss franc increased significantly compared to the euro and reimbursements grew. Affected consumers are estimated to have lost a total of 100 million euros.

In 2011, BNP customers began to file complaints about the mortgage loans, objecting that they had not been properly informed about the risks involved when they took out the products. In 2017, the French High Court of Justice ruled that many of the contract clauses were unfair. The French consumer organisation CLCV has filed a class action lawsuit for compensation.