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Oct 26, 2009 14:16 EEST
(updates with Raiffeisenbank reaction)
SOFIA (Bulgaria), October 26 (SeeNews) – Raiffeisenbank Bulgaria said on Monday it would appeal against a fine imposed by Bulgaria's anti-trust watchdog should the grounds for the ruling prove true to fact.
Earlier on Monday, the Commission for Protection of Competition (CPC) said it fined Raiffeisenbank Bulgaria 5.6 million levs ($4.3 million/2.9 million euro) over a breach of competition regulations.
“From the information published so far it can be concluded that the commission has accepted as true circumstances which fail to reflect the facts about this specific case. If our analysis shows that these conclusions of Raiffeisenbank are true, the bank will appeal the CPC decision,” the bank said in a statement.
An anti-trust probe has determined that the bank offered free life insurance to mortgage borrowers between 2004 and 2007 although it had no real intention to provide continuous support for the service, CPC said in a statement.
The CPC also said the fact that the bonus purchase was offered to customers almost until the end of 2007 and the lack of any explanation about the reasons for the bank's unilateral decision to terminate its obligations indicate that Raiffeisenbank Bulgaria used the offer solely as a buyer inducement, resulting in conduct that damaged consumer interests as well as the interest of its competitors on the financial services market.
Raiffeisenbank Bulgaria, part of Austrian banking group Raiffeisen Zentralbank Oesterreich, ranked as the fourth largest lender in terms of assets in Bulgaria at the end of June.
(1 euro = 1.95583 Bulgarian levs)
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