Brussels regulators have raided the offices of European banking associations in Poland and the Netherlands as part of an antitrust crackdown on lenders that block financial technology (fintech) rivals from gaining legitimate access to customer information.
The European Commission said it carried out unannounced bank inspections with national regulators as part of an antitrust operation on October 3. Without naming any of the countries involved, Brussels said it had “concerns” the banks and the trade bodies representing them “may have engaged in anti-competitive practices” by putting up barriers to challenger groups seeking access to customer account information when users have given their consent.
Brussels said the raids were carried out in a “few” member states. Poland and the Netherlands are among them, according to people familiar with the matter.
Unannounced inspections are a preliminary step in investigations into suspected anti-competitive practices. The fact that the Commission carries out such inspections does not mean that the companies or their associations are guilty of anti-competitive behaviour nor does it prejudge the outcome of the investigation.
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