Spectator on facebook

Spectator on facebook

BUSINESS IN SHORT

Committee nixes fees for exchange

FREE exchange or deposit of euro banknotes and coins by banks may be required by law in the future. The Parliamentary Committee for Finances, Budget and Currency approved a revision to the Act on Banks drafted by deputy for the Slovak National Party (SNS) Jozef Ďuračka on February 3.

FREE exchange or deposit of euro banknotes and coins by banks may be required by law in the future. The Parliamentary Committee for Finances, Budget and Currency approved a revision to the Act on Banks drafted by deputy for the Slovak National Party (SNS) Jozef Ďuračka on February 3.

The amendment would eliminate all bank charges for handling euro coins and notes, as a response to the current situation which entrepreneurs as well as private persons say is unfavourable, the SITA newswire reported.

Several banks announced in late January that they would reduce the fees charged for handling euro cash, but only the complete elimination of fees was acceptable to Prime Minister Robert Fico.

He had informed the Slovak Banking Association (SBA) of a wide consensus for legislation that could be approved quickly unless the fees were reduced to zero or cancelled completely, SITA wrote.

The SBA considers approval of the amendment to be a bad sign for corporations operating in Slovakia. They say it would open doors for additional parliamentary proposals affecting any field of business which would, regardless of the competitive environment, cancel or restrict appropriate rewards to businesses for the services they provide.

The handling of euro coins is currently generating losses for banks, the SBA told SITA, and it claims that the draft amendments would further increase the costs of manipulating coins, from collection to sorting, and then storage and transportation to the National Bank of Slovakia (NBS), and shift this cost to banks and their clients.

The complete cancellation of bank fees for exchange of euro banknotes and coins may pose some risks, the NBS warned.

The free acceptance of euro paper cash and coins without any limits increases the risk of negative migration of coins between eurozone countries, which might endanger fluidity of cash circulation in Slovakia, NBS spokeswoman Jana Kováčová was quoted by SITA as saying.Scrapping the fees may also have an impact on the use and development of tools for cashless transactions through payment cards, POS terminals and ATMs, she added.

The risk of ‘coin tourism’ in which citizens of other countries may be motivated by the free exchange of euro cash to bring it to Slovakia was mentioned by the State Secretary of the Finance Ministry Peter Kažimír at the parliamentary committee meeting.

The Finance Ministry suggested a limit on fees up to a certain number of items, cancelling fees for a limited period of time or regulation of bank charges only when depositing money in one’s own current account, but their proposal was not supported, SITA reported.

The Slovak parliament will vote on the amendment during its ongoing session.

If passed, the amendment will take effect on the day of its publication in the Collection of Laws.

Top stories

How did Communism happen in Czechoslovakia?

For the 40 years, Czechs and Slovaks would celebrate February 25 as Victorious February, even though the enthusiasm of most of those who supported Communists in 1948 would very quickly evaporate.

Prime Minister Klement Gottwald (right) swears an oath into the hands of President Edvard Benes on February 27, 1948 at the Prague Castle.

Cemetery with a remarkable creative concept Photo

The shapes of tombstones were prescribed until 1997

Vrakuňa Cemetery in Bratislava

Being young is harder than it used to be

The failure of older generations to sympathise with youth means politics are primarily a contest of who can hand out more gifts to old people.

Young Slovaks have problems finding proper jobs.

Historian: After 1948, Czechoslovakia was paralysed with fear

On February 25, Czechs and Slovaks mark 70 years since the rise of Communism in their common state. Historian Jan Pešek talks about the coup and its aftermath.

Demonstration in Prague, Wenceslas' Square, on February 28, 1948.