Over 75% of websites checked in the EU give satisfactory information to clients

Following the outcome of a co-ordinated "Sweep" investigation in which national enforcement authorities checked 565 websites across the 27 Member States, Norway and Iceland, the European Commission now published that up to date figures show that over 75% of websites checked now give satisfactory information to clients, while in September 2011, 70% of these sites (393) were flagged for further investigation.

The first Consumer Credit sweep took place in September 2011. Its outcome published in January 2012 showed that out of the 565 websites checked, 30% of them passed the test for compliance with the applicable EU consumer rules while 70% of these sites (393) were flagged for further investigation. The European Commission now published that a year later, 57 additional sites were finally considered to be compliant, 18 websites no longer exist, 194 websites were corrected following action by the national authorities and 124 websites are still the subject of administrative or legal proceedings in the countries concerned.

The Commission also underlined that the main problems detected in this sweep were missing information in consumer credit advertising (e.g. on the annual percentage rate of charge (APR): 258 sites were failing to display all the standard information required by the Consumer Credit Directive; and the omission of key information on the offer and/or misleading presentation of the costs (e.g. type of interest rate (fixed, variable or both), duration of the credit): 244 sites failed to give clear information about all the different elements of the total cost.

A "sweep" is an exercise to enforce EU law. It is led by the EU and carried out by national enforcement authorities who conduct simultaneous, coordinated checks for breaches in consumer law in a particular sector. The national enforcement authorities then contact operators about suspected irregularities and ask them to take corrective action.