The Ministry of Economy will analyze and order the necessary measures, in case the court rules the banks in their dispute with the National Authority for Consumer Protection (ANPC), Minister Florin Spataru said on Thursday. He says that he trusts ANPC, in the professionalism of the people there, “who highlighted these anti-competitive practices”.
“ANPC is coordinated by the Ministry of Economy. It is an independent body, a report was made there, certain anti-competitive practices were found, and this request of theirs will be analyzed. On the other hand, there are legal procedures that must be followed. I, as a minister, or the Ministry of Economy cannot intervene in a control action that ANPC carries out. So far, I haven’t seen any papers from the Ministry of Economy, they are probably declarations from the Banks Association. I want to see this document, to see what are the arguments that those from the Association of Banks have and, depending on that, to have a discussion at the Ministry of Economy, but, on the other hand, I trust ANPC, in the professionalism of the people of there, who did this analysis and who highlighted these anti-competitive practices. Of course, in the situation where the court will rule and find that those measures ordered by the ANPC are not properly substantiated, of course we will analyze and take the measures accordingly, because it is normal to keep this image of the ANPC as an authority which respects the law, on the one hand, but also the rights of consumers”, said Florin Spătaru on Thursday, according to Agerpres.
ARB is challenging the ANPC fines in court
The Romanian Association of Banks (ARB) has announced that it is joining the efforts of the banks to contest the fines received from the National Authority for Consumer Protection (ANPC) for the method of calculating interest on loans.
“The banking community is analyzing all legal levers for correcting this injustice and holding accountable those responsible for the serious damage to the image of the banking sector. Defaming credit institutions through erroneous and slanderous statements is an abuse and we appreciate that this type of rhetoric cannot be tolerated in the public space. In this context, we consider it necessary for the higher hierarchical institutions to intervene quickly”, says a press release from the ARB.
According to the cited source, the statements of the president of the National Authority for Consumer Protection “are false, expressed in bad faith and misinform consumers, his abusive behavior leading to unfounded damage to relationships and consumer trust in banks”.
“This type of behavior and the erroneous information released in the public space, which categorizes as “misleading commercial practices” a legal method of interest calculation used throughout the world, raise questions about the professionalism of some employees of the public institution. We draw attention, once again, that the banks comply with the specific legal provisions, both in terms of correct and complete information to consumers, and in terms of the method of repayment of loans”, the statement also says.
The ARB’s reaction comes after ANPC fined 11 banks on the local market with the amount of 550,000 lei, as it identified misleading commercial practices regarding the method of calculating rates.
The 11 banks sanctioned are: ING Bank, First Bank, Credite Europe Bank, OTP Bank, Alpha Bank, Banca Transilvania, Raiffeisen Bank, BCR, Patria Bank, Unicredit Bank, BRD Groupe Societe Generale.
Leave a Reply