By Maja Tuljkovic – Sarajevo
The Association of Borrowers ‘’Švicarac’’ held their first protest at the beginning of March in front of the building of the FB&H Agency for Banking. 20 people gathered today at the same place, and this time the slogan displayed at the protest was ‘Let’s take what only legally belongs to us’. In B&H, there are 9.800 people who use these loans. They have their demands and are demanding from the FB&H Agency for Banking to do something because borrowers believe that these loans are completely illegal.
Borrowers in B&H in recent years have raised loans tied to the Swiss France and an interest almost half than those who opted for loans in Euros or BAM. After the growth rate of the Swiss Franc, the rate loans suddenly increased. Some received a judgment against the bank in court.
‘’You have in the law a ‘marriage community’ of BAM and the Euros, which according to the law on Central Bank is tied to each other, and it was like this in the Dayton Agreement when it was the German Mark, and then later became the Euro. According to this, our loans appeared fully as a third currency, the Swiss France, which undermined the payment system of the state of B&H, not to mention what it did for these 9.800 borrowers’’, said the President of “Švicarca” Kemal Duraković.
Members of the Association listed 11 reasons or demands as to why they have come to the protest, among which are the unconditional and automatic application of the FB&H Law for borrowers from the FB&H, and who have loans in the illegal CHF value, adjustment of margins and Euribor for borrowers who have loans tied to the Euribor, and the resignation of the Director of the Agency for Banking ZlatkoBarš.
The FB&H Banking Agency reacted to the protests, and in a press release said that it is not responsible for the management and adjudication of disputes arising from the contractual relationship between the bank and clients, as well as the determination of damages and compensation of damages from the relationship. The Agency, within its jurisdiction in the present case, committed the Bank to allocate and maintain reserve funds if the dispute is lost, and in order to eliminate the risk for the activities of the Bank and for insurance funds for the payment of clients. When it comes to modification of any law, the Agency said that they are not responsible for something like this. The Association “Švicarac” claims that the Financial Police uncovered a number of irregularities in the work of these agencies.
‘’In connection with the already established ‘irregularities’ in the Agency by the Financial Police, we think that everyone has to be held accountable for their actions and if the competent authorities determine any wrongdoing in any institution, including in the Agency, such people have to be prosecuted, said the Agency.
And while borrowers are being sent from institution to institution, under the context the institutions they go to do not have jurisdiction, their patience is running out.
Outraged due to such relations, this afternoon they went towards the building of the FB&H Parliament, where a session was taking place. They expect someone to address them, because they think that only the FB&H Parliament can solve this problem, because the government is powerless, and the Agency does not want to.