The Competition Council is investigating a possible bank cartel for setting loan interest rates

The representatives of the Competition Council carried out unannounced inspections at the headquarters of several commercial banks on Tuesday, suspecting that the financial institutions colluded with each other to set loan interest rates, official sources told Hotnews.

Also according to Profit.ro, the inspectors of the Competition Council descended, on Tuesday, on the offices of the commercial banks in the country, they being suspected of cartel-type agreement in connection with reports in the Credit Bureau. The control, carried out until late Tuesday evening, was aimed at gathering evidence to prove the anti-competitive agreement, with bankers’ computers, e-mails and telephones being checked. Last year, in November, the competition institution carried out unannounced inspections at 10 banks, suspected of having formed a cartel to establish the ROBOR index, according to which part of Romanians’ loans are calculated.

Unannounced inspections are authorized by the Bucharest Court of Appeal. Inspectors thus aim to obtain information and documents necessary to clarify whether or not an anti-competitive practice exists.

Unannounced inspections are an important step in the investigation procedures of possible anti-competitive behavior, but do not represent a pre-judgment regarding the companies’ guilt.

If the Competition Council finds a violation of the competition rules, the companies involved risk fines of up to 10% of the turnover.

Companies that cooperate with the competition authority under the leniency program can obtain immunity from the fine or substantial reductions of it.

bankscartelCompetition Councilinterest ratesloansRoborunannounced inspections
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  • Panagiotis Spyridis

    Noooo! There is no such thing in Romania. Cartels do not exist in Telecommunications, Banking, Mass Media, Dairy Products, Bottled Water and the list goes on.