Croatian National Bank Forced to Reveal Bank Secrets

Total Croatia News

Court accepted a request by the Franak Association.

The Franak Association received on Wednesday the decision made by the High Administrative Court which rejected the complaint of the Croatian National Bank (HNB) to annul the decision made by the Commissioner for Information, reports on October 20, 2016.

In July, the Commissioner ordered HNB to submit information to the Franak Association about irregularities of commercial banks in the implementation of conversion of Swiss franc loans into euros. The Franak Association, prompted by irregularities in the conduct of banks during the implementation of the conversion of loans, sent a request to HNB in January for all information about illegal activities of commercial banks.

“The central bank has been illegally refusing to give us the information for the past 10 months, with explanation that the unlawful conduct of banks is a business secret which cannot be disclosed. Arbitrariness, illegalities and circumvention of the law have now finally come to the end, since the High Administrative Court determined that the issue of banks which operate in Croatia is not a matter which concerns just the Franak Association and those who took out the loans, but concerns all Croatian citizens”, said a statement from the Association.

The Croatian National Bank is now obliged to answer all of the Association’s questions:
1) Has HNB started the process of supervision over commercial banks which have to implement the loan conversion process?
2) Against which banks has it initiated the proceedings and when?
3) Have they found irregularities in the process of conversion, and at which banks?
4) Have they taken any measures against banks – which banks and which measures?
5) Have they launched infringement proceedings against banks – which banks?

The Croatian National Bank believes that the verdict of the High Administrative Court is extremely important because for the first time the court ruled that secret and confidential bank and supervisory data available to HNB must now be revealed in the process of exercising the right of access to information.

“In this respect, this is a precedent which could have significant effects for the future. HNB will act according to the verdict of the High Administrative Court. But, with the release and delivery of data, as well as in future requests for access to information, HNB will continue to carefully assess the public interest in access to information requested in relation to the obligation of confidentiality and privacy of information”, announced the central bank.


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