THE ANTITRUST Office (PMÚ) has issued a first-instance decision concerning the Slovak Bank Association (SBA) and has levied a fine of €185,939 for instituting a forum involving the exchange of sensitive information leading to restrictions on economic competition, the TASR newswire reported.
“We have received the first-instance decision of PMÚ,” SBA Executive Director Ladislav Unčovský told the press on January 8, as quoted by TASR, adding that the investigation has been ongoing for a long time. “We think that the outcomes of the decision are weighty and for us absurd to a certain degree.”
According to the banks’ association, PMÚ did not provide any convincing evidence to support its claims about association breaking the law. Therefore, SBA is going to file an appeal.
“We don’t see a single piece of evidence provided by PMÚ that would point to any unlawful activity,” Unčovský said, as quoted by TASR. “We have 15 days to file an appeal and we will do that.”
Furthermore, the association is convinced that its co-operation with PMÚ during the process has been appropriate, but says that PMÚ made serious procedural mistakes. Thus, SBA has already launched two lawsuits.
With regards to collecting information, Unčovský emphasised that it was geared toward enabling the association to give an opinion on legislative proposals drafted by financial ministry.
“We have never discussed as an association initiatives such as the ‘basic bank product’ or ‘auto-regulation in cases of exemptions regarding the fee for deposit in cash’. The aim was always to comment on actual legislation,” Unčovský said, as quoted by TASR.
He added that if PMÚ assumes that any further such decisions it will limit the dialogue between business and the state institutions.
Compiled by Roman Cuprik from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.
9. Jan 2015 at 15:00