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EC conducts unannounced inspections on bank account information in member states

BBR Staff Writer Published 10 October 2017

The European Commission (EC) has launched anti-trust probe on bank account information in a few member states

The officials conducted unannounced inspections in a few member states regarding online access to bank account information by competing service providers.

The commission has inspected the bank information based on concerns that the companies involved or associated with anti-competitive practices in breach of EU antitrust rules, which prohibit cartels and restrictive business practices and abuse of dominant market positions.

Alleged anti-competitive practices are proposed at excluding non-bank owned providers of financial services by preventing them from gaining access to bank customers' account data.

With the support of relevant national competition authorities, the commission officials have conducted the inspections on bank account information.

Unannounced inspections are a primary step into suspected anti-competitive practices, said the EU.

EU said the commission carries out such inspections does not mean that the companies or their associations are guilty of anti-competitive behaviour nor does it prejudge the outcome of the investigation

In addition, the commission said the duration of inspection depends on multiple factors, including the complexity of each case and extent to which the parties concerned co-operate with the authority and the exercise of the rights of defence.

Swedish startup Tink co-founder and CEO Daniel Kjellén said: “It’s encouraging to see the EU remaining true to its motivation to support citizens accessibility the very best monetary solutions and services.”

Image: Head office of the European Commission. Photo: courtesy of Amio Cajander.