On 30 March 2020, the Verkhovna Rada passed draft law No. 3275 (the "Anticrisis Law") providing, inter alia, that for the period of taking measures in Ukraine aiming at prevention of emergence, transmission and spread of epidemic and pandemic, including the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) it is prohibited to increase the interest rates under the loan agreements (the "Prohibition").
The Prohibition does not distinguish between the commercial and consumer loan agreements. Therefore, it applies to both categories of loans.
As to the effect of the Prohibition itself:
However, during the recent web-conference of the NBU Management Board with the members of the European Business Association, the NBU has expressed its position that the Prohibition is intended to apply to all of the loan agreements, stressing in particular on the existing ones. The aforementioned position of the regulator may be interpreted restrictively across the market, restraining the banks from applying any increased interest rates to overdue payments throughout the period of quarantine caused by COVID-19.
It should be noted that the Anticrisis Law is new and has not yet been tested in practice. It is also to be seen how the courts will interpret the Prohibition.
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