Reference no. 07-00-506/2016-02 Date: 24 August 2018
The opinion was issued in the procedure pertaining to the complaint lodged by U.N.S. against R.B. JSC B. due to the Decision of the Bank not to approve a loan since their have a status of a legal person registered as non-profit associaton. The complaint, among other things states that U.N.S., in June 2017, consulted with R.B. with the aim of obtaining information regarding the loan for current assets and that they started correspondance with R.B. with regards to the submission of documents required in order to submit a request for the approval of the loan. However, on 17 August 2017, R.B. informed U.N.S. that they are not ready to apporve their request, and they justified their decision by citing the business policy of the Bank stating that activities of non-profit associations will not be financed by the Bank unit further notice. The justification provided by R.B., among other things, states that the Loan Policy is an internal act of the R.B. thus limiting any financing of non-profit associations, since they are non-profit organisations whose revenue is mainly obtained through membership fees (unstable revenues) which prevents the Bank from making an adequate assessment of the loan repayment capacities, as well as stating that the said provision pertains to other associations, regrdless of the business acitvity they perform, and primarily due to the above-stated reasons. During the procedure, the Commissioner for Protection of Equality, by applying the rule on the shared burden of proof, stipulated by Article 45 Paragraph 2 of the Law on the Prohibition of Discrimination, determined that R.B. did not provide facts, nor submit evidence on the grounds of which it could be concluded that there were justifiable reasons for the biased actions towards the complainant in relation to other persons. The Commissioner for Protection of Equality determined that actions of R.B. towards the complainant were solely based on the assumption of the Bank that all non-profit associations have unstable revenues, i.e. that their assest are such that they reflect their credit capacity due to which they are not able to benefit, on equal terms wit all other legal persons and business owners, from the loan services of the Ban, which makes an unjustifiable differentiation on the grounds of assumed personal characteristics of the complainant – their financial standing. In accordance with the above-stated, the Commissioner for Protection of Equality issued the opinion that in the procedure for the complaint lodged by U.N.S. against R.B. JSC B. the Bank breached the provisions of Article 8 regarding Article 17 Paragraph 1 of the Law on the Prohibition of Discrimination. In accordance with the said Opinion, the R.B. was recommended to complete all the necessary actions and measures to enable non-profit associations to, on equal terms as other legal or natural persons, use the bank services offered by R.B., including loans, and that in the future, their internal acts and other decisions as well as their regular operations in their purview should not breach anti-discrimination regulations. .
|COMMISSIONER FOR PROTECTION OF EQUALITY|