Slovakia’s Antitrust Office (PMÚ)confirmed a fine of €10.2 million against three Slovak commercial banks - VÚB, Slovenská Sporiteľňa (SLSP) and ČSOB – on December 21 for creating a cartel agreement aimed against Czech non-banking company Akcenta CZ, the TASR newswire was told by PMÚ office director Tibor Vrzgula.
PMÚ's first-level decision from June was refined but its substance and amount of fine remained unchanged. The decision came into force on December 17 and no appeals are allowed, said Vrzgula.
“The forbidden behaviour consisted in an agreement on joint procedures by [VÚB, SLSP and ČSOB] on the cashless operations market in foreign currencies ... Entrepreneurs of VUB, SLSP and CSOB agreed to terminate contracts on current accounts that had been opened in those banks by Akcenta CZ, and that current accounts wouldn't be renewed again in the future,” said Vrzgula.
According to the PMÚ, Akcenta CZ represented competition for the banks in cashless foreign currency operations, but as a non-banking institution it was obliged to have accounts in banks in order to carry out such services.
All three Slovak banks disagree with the decision and are ready to turn to the courts, TASR was told on December 21. TASR
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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