Portuguese Competition Authority sends a statement of objections to 15 banks regarding an alleged anticompetitive practice

Press Release 11 /2015
 
Portuguese Competition Authority sends a statement of objections to 15 banks regarding an alleged anticompetitive practice
 
 
The Portuguese Competition Authority (PCA) confirms having sent a Statement of Objections to 15 banks for suspected participation in a concerted practice. The PCA has concerns that these banks may have, on a lasting basis, exchanged commercial sensitive information about their retail credit products, namely mortgages, consumer and small and medium enterprises credit products. In some cases, the practice lasted for 11 years and focused on nonpublic information, namely, intents to change spreads.
An exchange of information may lead to an anticompetitive practice when it enables companies to be aware of competitors’ market strategies and reach a common understanding. This outcome harms consumers as they cannot benefit from the competition gains that would otherwise exist on the market.
  
The PCA underlines that issuing a Statement of Objections does not prejudge the final outcome of the procedure. The addressees of a Statement of Objection have now the opportunity to exercise their rights of defense against the alleged infringement and possible applicable sanctions. 
 
The Statement of Objections was adopted on May 29, 2015.
 
This inquiry is protected by investigation secrecy until the adoption of the final decision