An independent competition authority in Greece has raided a number of major Greek banks over an investigation into collaboration between the institutions, according to a report by Reuters.
The watchdog was investigating whether the banks worked together on transaction fees. Attica Bank, Eurobank, the Greek bank association, Piraeus Bank and National Bank were all raided.
“The checks reflected the Competition Commission’s concerns that the businesses under investigation may have been involved in anti-competitive practices of horizontal collaboration,” the authority said in a statement on Friday (Nov 8).
The raids had been planned weeks in advance, the authority said. They were the preliminary part of an ongoing investigation into anti-competitive practices.
“Conducting such probes does not prejudge that firms being investigated have indeed been involved in anti-competitive behavior, nor the probe’s outcome,” the authority said.
Some bankers said they thought the raids were motivated more by politics.
Development Minister Adonis Georgiadis said that wasn’t true because the authority was an independent organization.
“I assure you that the ministry did not have the slightest involvement in yesterday’s developments,” he said. “I was not aware, I should not have been aware and, fortunately, I did not know about it.”
In other Greece news, Viva Payments and Alipay have teamed up so Alipay users can use the service while in Greece.
“Our partnership with Alipay is of particular significance to Viva Payments, as it signals our universally directed corporate mentality. Payments via Alipay are now a reality in Greece, and we expect this novelty to vastly expand the potential of local businesses, making their service more attractive to a very significant market segment. This year only, Greece is expecting more than 150,000 visitors from China, and according to predictions, this number will keep growing. It is necessary, therefore, when dealing with this important touristic audience, to be able to facilitate their consumer habits. The continuous evolution of our services through cutting-edge technology and strategic partnerships is key to our international development,” stated Viva Payments’ Chief Marketing Officer Panos Tsakos in a press release.