Bulgarian Competition Watchdog to Launch a Sector Inquiry into the Banking Sector

With a decision of March 1, 2018 the Bulgarian competition authority has launched a sector inquiry into the market of banking services provided by the members of the Association of Banks in Bulgaria. The last analysis of the banking market by the Commission for Protection of Competition was performed almost 10 years ago in 2008.

Announcement on the website of the Commission reads that it has conducted an overview of the current interest rates, fees and commissions published on the websites of the banks – members of the Association of Banks in Bulgaria, and applied thereby in the provision of services to clients. The findings necessitate a more comprehensive investigation of the competition environment, transparency and conditions offered by the banks in the period 2015 - 2017. The Commission shall further examine whether any barriers exist for customers to switch between banks for a specific service or whether there is any tying/bundling.

Sector inquiries aim at gathering and analyzing large volume of market information from as many market participants and interested parties as possible. The Commission is expected to approach market participants with specific requests for information on key issues, subject to research and analysis, which should be carefully addressed.

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