The four banks to which the Competition Authority (ADC) imposed the highest fines for concerted practices for exchanging sensitive information in retail banks appealed this Monday, the Economic Journal found.
Caixa Geral de Depósitos (CGD), Santander Totta, Millennium BCP and Banco Montepio appealed against the competition violation on September 9, which imposed a fine of EUR 225 million on 14 banks.
These four financial institutions together account for about three quarters of the 225 million – 190 million. AdC, led by Margarida Matos Rosa, sentenced CGD to a fine of € 82 million, the highest.
This was followed by BCP with 60 million fines and Santander finished top 3 with 35 million. Banco Montepio, with 26 million fines, received a 50% reduction to be the second bank to join the relief regime after Barclays.
Santander was fined for the facts committed by it and for the facts practiced by Banco Popular.
When asked by the Economic Journal, the official source for AdC said it had not yet been notified of the appeals but "is expected to be made over the course of the week."
The decision to condemn AdC becomes questionable only after it has been finalized. The Competition Court's decision on the banks' appeal can also be appealed to the competent appellate court.
The Economic Journal found that banks claim that mortgage loans are the most competitive area for banks, citing aggressive mortgage loan campaigns. They further dispute that the exchange of information included strategic information and did not harm consumers.
They further claimed that information about market shares is public and that the price standard Credit to information is not sensitive information because the rates applied by each bank differ significantly in this loans for value and whether guarantees exist or not.
According to the Competition Opinion, where it announced the condemnation to the 14 banks, "in this system, each bank provided the other sensitive information about its commercial offerings, which indicated, for example, the proposals to be applied in the near future to credit the amount of credit granted. last month, which would otherwise not be available to competitors. "
"So each bank in particular knew the accuracy and timeliness of other banks' offer characteristics, which discouraged targeted banks from offering customers better conditions by eliminating competitiveness, which is favorable to consumers," explained AdC.
The Department led by Margarida Matos Rosa also said "the coordinated practice of exchanging sensitive information was" relevant, strategic and non-public for shared information ". Banks dispute this in their appeals.
BPI, with a fine of € 30 million, appealed only on Wednesday, October 23, Jornal Económico found out. According to this newspaper, banks that received a subsequent notification of a court of conviction because they received it by post, an authorized representative or because they have their seat outside Lisbon have a longer time to appeal.
The other condemned banks were BBVA, BIC (for facts practiced by then BPN), BES, BANIF, Barclays, Agricultural Credit Bank, Montepio, Deutsche Bank and UCI.
The banks have until October 21 to appeal the competition authority a fine