A borrower sued a bank for interest. Due to negative reference rates, the interest rate for the loan became negative. The Supreme Court in Civil Matters ruled that the bank does not need to pay interest to the borrower. Even where a rule of doubt regarding the interpretation of the loan agreement to the detriment of the bank (and to the benefit of the borrower) applies, the bank would not have to pay “negative interests”. Nevertheless, the Supreme Court in Civil Matters does not rule out the payment of negative interests for certain “atypical” contracts (OGH dated 26.02.2020, 1 Ob 16/20i).
22. May 2020