TRENTO. Plus 8 euros per annor, this is the increase communicated by the Cassa di Trento, Lavis, Mezzocorona, Cembra valley And Alta Vallagarina to its customers. The increase starts on January 1st. For both current accounts if a citizen has opened two positions. “We reserve the right to challenge this decision – he comments Carlo Biasior, director of the Research and Consumer Protection Center of Trento – because there does not seem to be a justified reason “.
A unilateral modification of the economic conditions of the contract as the bank “over the past few months it has recorded an increase in operating costs sustained for the provision of services to customers due to inflation trends and the international geopolitical scenario“.
A trend that makes it more expensive to procure goods and services. “The rapid growth of inflation – reads the note from the Cassa di Trento – is clearly highlighted by the trend of the national consumer price index for the whole community, detected by Istat, which constitutes the main reference for measure inflation within the Italian economic system“.
In particular this index for the division of expenditure “Housing, water, electricity and fuels” did recorded an increase for 15.5% in the first half of 2022 with an annual increase to 23.1%.
“As a consequence of the dynamics described – it is written in the communication of the Cassa di Trento – the bank registered an unpredictable increase in operating costs incurred for the provision of services to customers, including in particular the costs for the procurement of water, electricity And fuels. This increase in costs involves an alteration of the economic equilibrium underlying the contractual conditions for the offer of its services by the bank“.
Here is the solution to restore the economic equilibrium, the (unilateral) tweaking of the contract, “the items have been increased by an amount that takes into account the inflationary impact of the period but related to the actual higher costs incurred by the bank“, concludes the note from the institute in via Belenzani.
“It is our intention to verify the legitimacy of this decision by the bank,” says Biasior, director of the Research and Consumer Protection Center in Trento. “There are two elements to evaluate: the timing of communication with two months’ notice and, above all, the justified reason “.
The times appear respected with the communication dated 1 October and the increase starting from 1 January next year. A period in which the client can try to negotiate the unilateral change or can change the reference bank. It remains to understand the validity of the motivation for the decision or whether, as in the case of Dolomites Energythe modification is not legitimate (here article).
The case of inflation could be a justified reason, even if this concept appears very elastic. And the unilateral contractual changesindeed, they cannot be introduced into a contract by the bank at will, as the law expressly requires that there must be a justified reason that legitimizes the variation.
“The temporary ban applies only to energy company contracts ratio it must be based on external elements that imply the need for this adjustment. It is hoped that the inflation trend will return to more manageable parameters in the coming months. We are in the analysis phase to understand if the principles and assumptions are legitimate. The customer can contact our branches for clarification or report the matter to the bank arbitrator, already the one in Rome in a similar case has provided that there are no reasons that justify this unilateral change communication: the intention is to challenge this procedure“, concludes Biasior.