The importance of the European Banking Authority in harmonising the credit moratorium regime

by Marina Barata (Master's in Law)

The pandemic outbreak caused by COVID-19 and the government measures taken by several European Union countries to address or mitigate the spread of the disease had, and continue to have, dramatic consequences for the economy.

Individuals and companies were affected by the economic crisis arising from the successive states of confinement, which created situations of default, even if in some cases temporary, of their financial obligations.

This possible and imminent lack of liquidity on the part of debtors would have a devastating impact on credit institutions, since loans defaults would lead to an increase in the number of defaulters and greater and heavier capital requirements for institutions.

For this reason, credit moratoria were implemented broadly by most of the European Union’s Member States.

Traditionally, a moratorium is the granting of an extension of a line of credit’s payment period, whereby the payment of the instalments is suspended for the period during which the moratorium lasts and the deadline for their full payment is extended for the same period. In the expression of the law, the moratorium is the deferment of the fulfilment of the beneficiaries’ obligation towards the banking system.

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