Банкеръ Weekly



Each bank which delays a money transfer of a client will be paying interest, the new draft bill on money transfers, electronic payment instruments and systems, approved by the parliamentary Economic Commission at first reading on September 8, stipulates. In order to make things easier for citizens in an eventual court battle with the credit institutions, the law makes provisions for automatic calculation of interest. That shall be the bank's obligation and the client won't have to file claims or initiate legal lawsuits against the bank. The interest to be paid by the credit institutions shall be the same as stipulated by law in cases of delayed payment of taxes, e.g. the base interest rate plus 10 points. The bill also stipulates fines for wrongful transfer of money to an account of another depositor, amounting to BGN5,000 for a first violation and to BGN10,000 for a repeated violation. According to BNB's Vice Governor Bozhidar Kabakchiev, who attended the meeting, this happens rarely, but nevertheless it does and should be sanctioned by a significant fine. The draft defines an e-payment instrument (for the first time in Bulgarian legislation) and regulates the way for using it. That refers to bank cards for electronic and INTERNET-banking. It is interesting that the amount has been specified, up to which a client is responsible for money drawn from his deposit after he has notified the credit institution about a stolen card or password for access to e-banking. Under the bill's provisions, the amount cannot be higher than BGN300 and the specific size is entered in the contract between the bank providing the service and its client. An important moment in the draft is the establishment of an Arbitration Commission for settling arguments between clients and credit institutions. The aim is to avoid long-dragging court procedures. This places the client on an equal footing with the bank in case of complications. The BNB has undertaken to publish (within three months after the law is promulgated) regulations, describing in detail the work of the Arbitration Commission. It is already known that five members with the necessary qualification will be hearing each case. The chairman will be a BNB representative, two arbitrators will be appointed by commercial banks, and the other two will be from the Commission for Protection of Competition (CPC). The designated persons will be entered in public lists. The proposal for housing the Arbitration Commission in the premises of the CPC bemused the MPs. Valentin Vassilev, a member of the Economic Commission from the UDF quota, recommended Mr. Kabakchiev to consider the option to accommodate the arbitrators in BNB's building. That was the only recommendation by deputies to the draft bill, which means there would be hardly any amendments to its provisions between the first and second reading.

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