Portugal. The Consumer Finance Law Review
The Portuguese financial system is fully integrated with the international and European financial markets. The Bank of Portugal (BdP) joined the European System of Central Banks (ESCB) on 1 June 1998. As a result, the definition and implementation of the country’s monetary and exchange rate policy, the management of official currency reserves, the efficiency of the payment systems and the issuing of banknotes are now controlled by the ESCB.
Thus, the Portuguese regulatory system governing credit institutions and financial companies is, in broad terms, identical to the legal framework in force in other EU Member States. Furthermore, while the Portuguese banking industry benefits from a high level of protection regarding consumer finance as a result of the direct influence of EU law, recent national government policies also contribute to this level of protection. This has been achieved through the reinforcement of the information disclosure duties of credit institutions and financial companies, and the imposition of maximum interest rates in certain types of financing agreements.