The Brazilian Consumer Protection Institute (Idec) analyzed 125 advertising pieces - from leaflets to social media posts – and identified 47% of them as abusive.
Most banks, financial institutions, and fintechs offer their lines of credit in the advertisements as "fast, simple, and without paperwork", overlooking basic information such as interest rates – thus, violating the Consumer Defense Code (CDC) and the financial sector's regulations.
Idec's study was focused on lines of credit offered through credit card, payday loans, and personal lines of credit, as well as ads targeting people in debt and seeking debt renegotiation. It points out that only a third of the ads with credit simulation presents the operation's total cost, a mandatory information. Moreover, 40.8% of advertisements had footnotes and/or fine print.
Overall, the ads present the false message that there is no risk involved. For Idec, the research study results reinforce the urgency of approving Bill No. 3,515/2015 (the Over-indebtedness Law), crucial in a country where 64% of households are indebted. The Bill adds to the CDC a chapter on lines of credit advertising, prohibiting the use of terms such as "interest free" and "free of charge".
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