franak - swiss_franck.jpg
Photograph: FreeImages.com/Michael Faes

Most of the eight banks in Croatia which offered Swiss franc loans have extended the duration of a fixed CHF-HRK exchange rate for clients who agreed to a conversion of those loans by the end of March, while the banks which did not, said they expected the conversion to be completed soon.

A year-long freeze of the CHF-HRK exchange rate at CHF 1 for HRK 6.39 was made possible with amendments to the Consumer Credit Act which went into force on 27 January 2015, after the rate jumped about 20 percent in a day following a Swiss National Bank decision not to defend the minimum exchange rate of CHF 1.20 for one euro.

The year-long freeze ends at midnight today. Five of the eight banks that offered Swiss franc loans in Croatia have already decided that the fixed CHF-HRK exchange rate will remain, meaning that payments will not increase for clients who agreed to the conversion of their loans but have not yet been finalised.

The first to decide to continue to apply the fixed exchange rate by the end of this March was Raiffeisenbank Austria in December. Hypo bank extended the deadline too, until April 1.

Erste bank said it would enable its clients who had agreed to the conversion but had not finalised the process yet would repay their loans under the same terms as over the past year. Splitska Banka will keep the fixed CHF-HRK exchange rate for loans undergoing conversion until conversion is completed, while Sberbanka said it would keep the fixed rate until the end of March.

OTP, Privredna Banka Zagreb and Zagrebacka Banka said they would not extend the fixed CHF-HRK exchange rate.

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