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Five banks and the Hellenic Bank Association get fined for concerted practice in charges

Featured Five banks and the Hellenic Bank Association get fined for concerted practice in charges

Five Greek banks, including four systemic ones, along with the Hellenic Bank Association were fined a total of 41.7 million euros by the Competition Commission on Thursday for concerted practice in interbank systems, and payment and electronic transaction services.

In addition, the banks were required to lower the Direct Access Fee (DAF) by January 1, 2024. The fee relates to transactions of customers using their card to take money out from an ATM machine that belongs to another bank. The Commission also ordered the banks to keep the lower fee for three years. 
In a separate explanatory statement, the Commission said that the fee also related to tourists using foreign bank cards at ATMs in Greece, and would be lowered to 2 euros as of January 1.

The fine of nearly 42 million euros was reached after settlement.

The banks and individual fines involved include Alpha Bank (9.1 mln euros), Eurobank (7.9 mln), National Bank (9.9 mln), Piraeus Bank (12.9 mln) and Attica Bank (143,182 euros). The Hellenic Bank Association was fined 1.5 million euros, and proposed that it introduce an internal due diligence program within six months from the publication of the decision, which the Commission accepted.

The DAF pricing will change as follows, as of January 1:

Alpha Bank: up to 1.80 euros from the current 2.50
Attica Bank: up to 1.50 euros from the current 2.00
Eurobank: up to 1.80 euros from the current 2.50
National Bank: up to 1.90 euros from the current 2.60
Piraeus Bank: up to 2.00 euros from the current 3.00

Minister comments

Commenting on the decision, Development Minister Kostas Skrekas said that the fines "confirms the state's decisiveness, through any of its institutional agencies, to conduct continuous inspections for the legislation's implementation. The inspections will continue and the interventions will be immediate and effective, whenever that is required, to the benefit of citizens and the smooth operation of the market at all levels."