In a ruling dated February 21, 2015, the Court of Alessandria ordered the Bank to return to its client the amount unduly paid in terms of compound interest and usury.
Between the parties there was an “articulated contractual relationship” in which the bank had granted its client an opening of bank credit. All extinguished in 2007.
The Court declared the nullity of the clause of periodic capitalization of the interests agreed in the constitutive writing of the relationship object of the cause. In fact, a consolidated jurisprudential orientation established that: “the clauses which provide for the current accounts assigned before the entry into force of the ICRC resolution of February 9th 2000, forms of compound interest are void as they were stipulated in violation of art. 1283 of the civil code, since they are based on negotiated use, rather than on regulatory use ”. The report in question having concluded in 2007 raised the issue of the illegitimacy of the compound interest charged after the entry into force of the ICRC resolution of 9 February 2000. The legislation, starting from July 2000, made quarterly capitalization of interest eligible liabilities, but only on condition that this periodicity is also recognized for interest income. Article. 7 of the ICRC Resolution 9.02.2000 also provides, for previous relationships, that the bank, in order to be able to capitalize the interest expense accrued to the account holder, has the “prior approval” of the client as a simple unilateral communication is not sufficient.
Finally, as regards the repetition of usurious interests present in the present case, the usurability must be assessed with reference to the moment in which the interests were agreed. The Court of Cassation (see Cassation January 11, 2013, n. 602) stated that “The discipline referred to in the law of 7 March 1996, n. 108 applies to contracts containing usurious rates, even if stipulated before its entry into force, where the relationships are not exhausted. It follows that, pursuant to art. 1 of the law n. 108 of 1996 of articles 1319 and 1419, second paragraph, Civil Code, operates the automatic replacement of conventional rates with the threshold rates applicable in relation to the different periods ”.
Ultimately the Court of Alessandria, after having ordered a CTU, condemned the Bank to return to the Client the amount unduly collected beyond the interest rate set by law.