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Banking Association appeals fine for cartel activity

Competition

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The Hungarian Banking Association filed a court appeal against the HUF 4 billion fine the country’s Competition Office (GVH) issued the association on charges of cartel activity, Levente Kovács, chief secretary of the professional body, said yesterday, according to Hungarian news agency MTI.

The association is asking the court to change the competition officeʼs decision and to declare that no infringement of rules and regulations took place. The association also asked the court to suspend the payment of the fine.

The competition office fined the Hungarian Banking Association HUF 4 billion and the International Banker Training Center a further HUF 15 million for charges of cartel activity on January 12. The competition office fined the association for a database it operated with the involvement of the training center, allowing banks to share business secrets for a period of twelve years, which GVH considers provided too much information, and violated both Hungarian and European Union competition rules.

When the competition office’s decision was published, the association said it would appeal “using all available domestic and international legal recourse”, MTI reported today. The association called the decision “legally and professionally incomprehensible” and said it was based on “mistaken assumptions and conclusions that disregard the operation of market competition”, MTI reported.

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