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Inglourious end of litigation with Tinkoff Bank

A high-profile litigation between a simple client of a bank from Voronezh Dmitry Agarkov and Tinkoff Credit Systems (TCS) ended in a ceasefire. Dmitry Agarkov, who talentedly “unwound” the bank to grant a loan with a zero interest rate, unexpectedly announced the termination of litigation, thereby dispelling his reputation as a hero that was hardly formed among the people.

The excessively high interest rates that Russian banks are famous for have generated a latent hostility in society towards a credit institution. The heated irritation of the Russians, who were forced to constantly take loans on unfavorable conditions, erupted sharply thanks to Voronezh Dmitry Agarkov. In 2008, an ordinary Russian citizen drew a finger around the employees of Tinkoff Credit Systems (TKS) Bank, drawing up an agreement on his own terms. In the loan agreement, Agarkov indicated a rate of 0 percent, which was not noticed by bank employees when signing the questionnaire.

However, one can understand the carelessness of TCS-bank employees, because the interest rate in the contract was printed initially, only this was done in very small print. Small print is one of the most common tools for veiling information that is undesirable for a client. This tool is widely used by marketers, manufacturers, lawyers in the preparation of contracts and so on. However, hardly anyone of them could have suggested (before the scandalous trial of the TCS with Dmitry Agarkov) that this tool can be used by the client against the document compiler itself.

Voronezh received a proposal from a financial institution by mail. After reviewing it, Dmitry Agarkov noted that instead of the declared rate of 12 percent, a loan is offered at a rate of about 45 percent per annum, which was spelled out in small print. In order to change the number, the Voronezh resident scanned the form with the form, after which he entered his heroic “zero” in the column on the interest rate for using a loan and commission for issuing cash.

“To be honest, I did not expect the bank to sign the agreement that I wrote. I filled out an application form and sent it to the bank for fun and was very surprised when I received a credit card a month later,” Rossiyskaya Gazeta quotes Dmitry Agarkov as saying .

When the bank noticed that a certain client Agarkov was in no hurry with payments, they turned to him with a complaint, after which the citizen noticed that he, in general, should not pay interest. Nevertheless, the court collected 19 thousand rubles from the borrower in favor of the bank. Then, in July 2013, Agarkov appealed to the Comintern District Court with a lawsuit for 24 million rubles, which provides for payments in the amount of 3 million rubles for each of the violations of the conditions and tariffs committed by the bank unilaterally, Gazeta.ru writes.

The representatives of TCS were unpleasantly surprised by the trick of their cunning client and decided that the Voronezh, who had already earned fame among the other “hostages” of Russian banks, should attract under the article “fraud” of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation. The owner of the bank, Oleg Tinkov, also joined the proceedings, threatening to get punishment for Dmitry Agarkov in the form of four years in prison on his Twitter blog. In response to this, a Voronezh citizen announced his intention to emigrate from Russia in connection with the threats.

But despite the full confidence of experts and society that the matter will be decided in favor of Dmitry Agarkov, who has a document signed by Tinkoff Credit Systems employees, both sides suddenly announced the withdrawal of their mutual claims. The day before, a statement by the bank’s general director Oliver Hughes was published everywhere in the Russian media: “The conflict is not constructive, so we decided to end it in a gentlemanly way by removing mutual claims.” Experts immediately retorted that “gentlemanly” concessions and nobility were unlikely to take place in this trial, but the reason why the parties went to the world remains a secret at the moment.

However, let Dmitry Agarkov lose his heroic glory, and he was publicly expelled from the pedestal by many Russian Internet users, but he nevertheless achieved something. And this is not so much about the Tinkoff Black debit card received from the bank, on which the bank charges 10 percent per annum on the card balance and pays cash back up to 30 percent for certain types of purchases, but about a good “shake-up” of financial institutions. They spoke out loud about the problem of consumer relations between banks and customers and about debt traps set up by banks. One can only hope that this precedent will make financial institutions recall social responsibility in relation to the population, and citizens themselves – to carefully read the terms of loan agreements.

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