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The “six” against BOC, CPB, HB

09/09/2003 11:15
The six Cyprus-based banks (Alpha Bank, Commercial Bank, National Bank of Greece (Cyprus), Universal Bank, Arab Bank and Cooperative Central Bank), which appeared before the Competition Protection Committee on the examination of the interlocutory process, seem to follow a common defensive line, as they have requested the separation of their case from that of the Bank of Cyprus, the Popular Bank and the Hellenic Bank.

According to StockWatch sources, the “six” banks complained on the fact that all the cases were treated the same, grounding their complaints on two main reasons:

First, the indictment refers to the violation of the relevant legislation by “BOC, CPB and HB”. “There is no substantiated case against Alpha Bank”, said the legal adviser of the bank as well as the legal advisers of the other 5 .

Second, once the examination of the case continues against them, it will be detrimental for the interests of those who were not part of the ‘cartel’.


The legal advisers of the banks submitted on Monday their interlocutory objections before the Competition Protection Committee and have requested a number of clarifications on the issue.

It is noted that the Popular Bank and the Hellenic Bank have requested permission to file their appeals in writing on September 23.

BOC’s “defensive line”

According to “SW” sources, the defensive line of the Bank of Cyprus is based on:

(A) The investigation against the commercial banks was based upon an insufficient indictment and the Competition Protection Committee collected all the relevant data at a later stage in its effort to set the indictment.

(B) The Bank of Cyprus questions the legality of the assaults made for the collection of data.

(C) The investigation at the Office of the Hellenic Bank was carried out violating the authorization.


It is worth noting that the separate indictment against each bank raises hopes for a vindication of the interlocutory objections.


The nine banks are accused for a ‘cartel’ in their price policy, which means the imposition of a fine of up to 10% of their total turnover, though this possibility seems fairly distant.