Coronavirus (COVID-19) related moratorium on corporate and retail loans in Slovenia

1. Description of the legislation

1.1 Is there a moratorium on loans legislation implemented in your jurisdiction?

Yes.

1.2 If no: Are there any ongoing discussions regarding a potential introduction of such measures?

Not applicable.

1.3 What is the name of the relevant legislation (the “Relevant Act”)?

Intervention Measure Act on Deferred Payments of Borrowers’ Obligations (Zakon o interventnem ukrepu odloga plačila obveznosti kreditojemalcev)

1.4 What is the duration of the measures (period of moratorium)?

The duration of a moratorium is 12 months, though a lender and a borrower keep the freedom of agreeing on conditions more favourable for a borrower.

1.5 Does the legislation provide for an extension of the period of moratorium?

No.

1.6 Is the moratorium mandatory, or can each borrower opt out should they wish to simply continue payments, or opt in if they want to be protected by the moratorium?

A borrower has to opt in, that is, send a request to a lender. The moratorium is mandatory for a lender, which means that a lender must grant a moratorium on the loan, but only if a borrower requests a moratorium in time, and shows and substantiates to the lender that it fulfils the conditions set by the Relevant Act.

2. Parties and agreements affected by the Relevant Act

2.1 Is the moratorium available for both corporate and consumer loans?

Yes, the moratorium is available for corporate and consumer loans. Borrowers that can apply for a moratorium are companies registered in Slovenia, cooperative associations (zadruge), associations (društva), institutes (zavodi), foundations (ustanove), natural persons who are employers and self-employed persons with registered seat/permanent address in Slovenia, heads of agricultural holdings (nosilec kmetijskega gospodarstva) and heads of supplemental activity on a farm (nosilec dopolnilne dejavnosti na kmetiji) in line with the agriculture act, and natural persons that are citizens of Slovenia and have a permanent address in Slovenia.

2.2 Who are the affected Lenders?

The moratorium affects:

  • banks and savings institutions with registered seats in Slovenia
  • banks from other member states with a branch office in Slovenia.

The moratorium does not apply to banks from other member states or other lenders which are not banks or savings institutions.

2.3 Does it make a difference whether loans are granted by a foreign entity and governed by foreign law?

Loans granted by a foreign entity are not affected. It is not relevant by which law a loan agreement is governed. 

3. Impact on the loan agreements

3.1 Is there a cut-off date with respect to loan agreements to which the Relevant Act will apply (e.g. not applicable to loan agreements entered into after the cut-off date)?

The moratorium applies to all payment obligations which would fall due after 12 March 2020 when the epidemic in Slovenia was declared. The moratorium also applies to loan agreements executed during the time the Relevant Act is in force.

3.2 Does the moratorium apply to principal only, or also to interest and/or fees?

The moratorium applies to all obligations arising out of a loan agreement, with the exception of contractual interest.

3.3 Will the maturity of the loan automatically be extended by the moratorium period?

No, a lender and a borrower need to conclude an annex to the loan agreement agreeing on extension of the loan maturity by the moratorium period.

3.4 Are repayments and interest which have become due and payable under the contract before the Relevant Act has come into force covered by the moratorium?

The moratorium applies to all payment obligations under a loan agreement which would fall due after 12 March 2020 when the epidemic in Slovenia was declared.

3.5 Will lenders be able to terminate a loan due to an event of default other than non-payment (e.g. breach of financial covenants)?

Yes.

Maja-Zgajnar-CMS-AT
Maja Zgajnar
Partner
Ljubljana
Picture of Irena Sik
Irena Šik Bukovnik
Attorney-at-Law for banking & finance
Ljubljana
Zuzana Nikodemova
Zuzana Nikodemova
Senior Associate
Bratislava