January 31, 2019 / 6:07 PM / 9 months ago

Albania's competition watchdog investigates four biggest banks

TIRANA, Jan 31 (Reuters) - Albania’s Competition Authority (CAA) said on Thursday it will investigate whether the country’s four biggest banks restricted competition from 2016 to 2018.

Turkish-owned National Commercial Bank, the subsidiaries of Austria’s Raiffeisen and Italy’s Intesa San Paolo and Albanian-owned Credins Bank control 68 percent of the Albanian market.

“We have decided to start ... a deep investigation in the deposits, bank loans and transfers in the enterprises: Raiffeisen Bank, National Commercial Bank, Credins Bank and Intesa San Paolo Bank,” the CAA said in a statement.

Since it launched a preliminary analysis of the four banks, at the end of May last year the CAA said it had found:

“The behaviour of the enterprises under investigation can lead to a limiting of competition in the respective markets.”

Representatives of the banks were not available for comment. (Reporting by Benet Koleka, Editing by Alexander Smith.)

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