BANKS IN COMPETITION FOR THE CUSTOMS OFFICES' MONEY
Fierce competition is expected between the banks which will participate in the tender invited by the Customs Agency for nominating a bank to service the institution's accounts.The survey of the BANKER weekly found that offers will be submitted by DSK Bank, Biochim Commercial Bank, Bulgarian Post Bank, United Bulgarian Bank, HEBROSBANK, and UNIONBANK. Under the effective Ordinance for border check-points, their accounts can be serviced only by banks with State participation. DSK Bank and Biochim are such now. The competition between the other financial institutions will be for the turnover of customs offices round the country.BULBANK, which is expected to be one of the most serious pretenders, refused to confirm participation in the tender for servicing customs offices' deposits. However, it would not be logical to expect that BULBANK (which together with EIBANK currently services most of the accounts of border check-points) would not bid in the tender.The press offices of Central Cooperative Bank and of Raiffesienbank (Bulgaria) could not provide information on whether the two credit institutions would bid in the tender. Sofia Municipal Bank and First East International Bank asked for a written inquiry on the matter, which can be answered by just yes or no.The list of banks between which the Customs Agency management and its Director Emil Dimitrov would have to choose will be most probable supplemented by Incentive Bank, Bulgarian Invest Commercial Bank, ROSEXIMBANK, and First Investment Bank.The tender will not be for just one bank. I would like to pick out two or three credit institutions, in order to make clear there is no preferential treatment, Mr. Dimitrov said recently in an interview for the BANKER weekly.A major requirement to the candidates is to be local juristic persons, holding full licences for carrying out banking operations. Moreover, the credit institutions that will be entrusted the enticing operations with the money of the customs administration, should be also on the Finance Ministry's list of banks, authorized to service the national budget. The list was approved by the former finance minister Muravey Radev after accepting the annual financial plan for the year 2000.