According to regulation No. 04/19/CEMAC/UMAC/CM on the effective global rate and the repression of usury and the publication of banking conditions in the CEMAC, A usurious loan is any loan or agreement concealing a loan in any material and by any person, at an Overall Effective Rate which exceeds, at the time it is made, the usury rate fixed by the Monetary Policy of the Central Bank.
Sales transactions with payment facilities shall be treated as loans and shall be subject to the provisions of the regulation mentioned above.
The monetary policy committee shall determine the usury rate for each type of institution subject to the law according to the categories of loans and the nature of the borrowers.
For loans granted by natural persons or legal persons other than taxable institutions, the applicable usury rates are those fixed for credit institutions and for operations of the same nature involving similar risks.
The central bank shall specify, after consultation with the national economic and financial committees, the categories of loans and borrowers according to which the usury rates shall be declared.
The monetary policy committee shall decide quarterly on the usury rates applicable in each CEMAC member state for the three months following the date of entry.
For each category of loans and borrowers, other than individuals, the usury rate applicable in each member state shall be equal to the average national effective rate for the preceding quarter, increased by a number of basis points determined by the monetary policy committee.
In the case of loans to individuals, the usury rate shall be determined taking into account market conditions and consumer protection considerations.
The decision of the Monetary Policy Committee setting usury rates is published in the CEMAC Official Bulletin, in the legal gazettes of the member states and on the Central bank’s website.
The BEAC notifies the decision of the monetary policy committee to the National Economic and Financial Committee, which communicates it to the institution subject to the law.
The institutions subject to the law shall display at their counters the usury rates fixed by the Monetary Policy Committee and publish them by any appropriate means.
The overall effective rate for each loan is freely discussed between the borrower and the lender, subject to compliance with the usury rate applicable to the category of loan concerned.
In this respect, the lenders shall inform the borrowers, by any means that leaves a written trace, of the usury rates corresponding to the loans offered.
In the case of loans of money or other movable property, and in credit sales or barter transactions, the value of the goods handed over or the price paid by the debtor, in principal and accessory, may not exceed the value of the goods received by an amount corresponding to the usury rate applicable to credit transactions of the same nature involving similar risks.
The above provisions does not apply to transactions in securities or financial products.
Where a loan is usurious, the sums unduly collected shall be deducted by operation of law from the nominal interest and the remainder, if any, from the capital of the debt.
If the debt is extinguished in capital and interest, the sums unduly collected shall be refunded with legal interest calculated on the day they were paid.