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Romania’s Competition Council starts investigation on banking system

Romania’s Competition Council has started an investigation on the local retail banking system, romania-insider.com reports.

The council wants to find out why the banking services in Romania are more expensive than in other countries. It will verify current accounts, loans and credit cards, reports local Profit.ro.

“We’ll look at fees, to see why they are higher than in other countries,” Competition Council president Bogdan Chiritoiu said.

The institution will also carry out a survey to measure the customers’ perceptions.

“We don’t think that the banking system is too concentrated. We don’t believe that the cost explanation is related to concentration,” Chiritoiu added.

If there are any irregularities, the council will also issue recommendations on the legislation. The investigation will be completed in June 2018.

The council published in 2013 the results of a study on card payments that showed that Romanians were paying the highest bank fees in Europe, amounting to 1-1.2%. The fees were later capped at 0.3% for credit cards and 0.2% for debit cards.

The Competition Council’s announcement comes shortly after Romanian prime minister Mihai Tudose said that he didn’t use bank cards because of the high fees.