• Sentence: European Justice rules that the judge controls whether the IRPH is abusive and relieves the bank

  • Mortgages: consumer associations foresee a flood of claims after the IRPH ruling



stands for

Benchmark Mortgage Loan


It is an indicator of mortgage loan interest rates and is prepared by the

Bank of Spain


This has been operating since 1994 and is officially called the

Average Rate of mortgage loans for more than three years for the acquisition of free housing


According to the definition given by the Bank of Spain, it is calculated as "

the simple average of the


average interest rates

of the loan operations with mortgage guarantee for a term equal to or greater than three years for the acquisition of free housing initiated or renewed by the Banks and boxes of savings".

In 2013, when the


collapsed due to Mario Dragui's monetary policy of rate cuts, the European index

touched 0.5%,


the Spanish


did not fall below 3%


This made the mortgage referenced by the IRPH

cost 150 euros higher on average


The consumer associations denounced as they assure that the conditions linked to these products were not clear.

To find out if a mortgage is referenced by this index, you have to

look at the mortgage deeds

and go to the interest or variable interest rate headings.

Another way to find out if the loan is governed by the IRPH is to check the mortgage receipts and find out

if we pay more than 2% interest


If this is the case, our mortgage and the expenses generated retroactively can be appealed.

Declared abusive

On March 3, the Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU) ruled that

the IRPH was an index that could be traded abusively.

Therefore, he urged the Spanish courts to study the conditions and if they came to the conclusion that they are abusive, they could replace them with a legal index applicable in a supplementary way to protect consumers


The Supreme Court should have handed down a sentence

after the CJEU decision but this was postponed from September 30 to October


due to the pandemic.

The European court recalled that

the IRPH was less advantageous than the Euribor

, used in 90% of the mortgage loans signed in Spain.

The IRPH accounted for less than 1% of mortgages at the beginning of 2020, in the past it was 10% of the total.



between a mortgage loan that has the Euribor as a reference and one that is governed by the Spanish index reaches

between 18,000 and 21,000 euros

in total.

The first judgments in this regard in Spain, issued in the courts of Lleida and Burgos, cancel the mortgage index and replace it with the Euribor.

"It is not proven [that] the defendant entity provided specific information regarding the scope or operation of this type of reference by virtue of which they could assess whether it was interested in the loan with this type of reference or a loan referenced to Euribor", concluded a of the sentences.

Precisely that "contractual clauses must always meet the requirement of clear and understandable wording" was also indicated by the CJEU.

Consequences for banking

In the event that justice ruled in favor of consumers,

banks would face costs of between 7,000 and 44,000 million euros,

according to a Goldman Sachs report prepared before the CJEU ruling.

At present the entities that have mortgages governed by the aforementioned index are:


(through its mortgage subsidiary UCI),



La Caixa, Unicaja, Abanca



, among others.

According to the criteria of The Trust Project

Know more

  • IRPH

  • Santander

  • Spain

  • Mortgages

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