the competition and consumer protection commission (ccpc) has warned commercial banks in the country to desist from using preferred list of lawyers and surveyors for which they use to exclude other competitors.
according to a statement made available to radio phoenix, ccpc director of consumer and public relations brian lingela says the commission has become aware that some commercial banks have continued with the habit of rejecting valuation reports undertaken by registered surveyors.
mr lingela adds that the commercial banks refuse to deal with duly registered lawyers on the basis that they are not on their preferred list.
he says the commission at the 50th board of commissioners’ meeting held on 29th june 2011, directed that all commercial banks desist from rejecting independent surveyors and lawyers reports which may not be on their preferred lists without justifiable reasons.
the ccpc director of consumer and public relations has stressed that this conduct is anti-competitive and violates sections of the competition and consumer protection act number 24 of 2010 which prohibits conducts that are likely to erode competition in the economy.
he has noted that some surveyors and lawyers that are not on such lists are not offered the opportunity to compete fairly with those on preferred lists, a conduct that is largely anti-competitive as it creates an entry barrier.
mr lingela further says the commission finds that while banks have the freedom to contact whoever they deem fit, their right to do so must not disadvantage other competition surveying and legal firms and ultimately, the consumers who usually pay for the services.
he says the commission is of the view that, open access and participation by other firms not on the list is essential as the exclusionary nature of the conduct can lead to exit of some survey and legal firms that are not on those preferred lists.
meanwhile mr. lingela says the commission has invited clients of banks who have been affected to report to the commission so that investigations can be opened and in an event that any bank is found to have violated the law; remedies provided in the ccpc act number 24 of 2010 will be applied.