About the new law on usurious loans

Commenting on the new Legislative Decree number 2022-67 of October 19, 2022 regarding the fines for which lenders at excessive rates are liable, the banking expert, Sofien Lourimi, stated on October 26, 2022 in the program Expresso on Radio Express FM that this new text amends and supplements the law on disproportionately high interest rates from July 1999, which defines disproportionately high interest rates according to the type of loan. It stipulates that each semester the Central Bank of Tunisia and the Ministry of Finance must publish the effective interest rates on loans granted by the bank during that semester.

Sofien Lourimi explained that the excessive interest rate is 20% higher than the effective interest rate, noting that the new legislative decree prohibited financial institutions from exceeding this rate by lending at excessive interest rates. He added that the loans affected by this new measure are consumer loans, short, medium and long-term loans as well as overdrafts, indicating that Islamic banks are also affected by this decree.

The banking expert also indicated that loans and donations related to crowdfunding or crowdfunding are not affected by this law decree on excessive interest pending another law to regulate them.

According to Sofien Lourimi, we should not expect interest rates on loans to fall. He specified that the novelty of this legislative decree is the abolition of the prison sentence and the increase of fines from 1 to 3 thousand dinars in the old version, to 30 thousand and 100 thousand dinars in the new decree.

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