No. 739-21




The opinion was issued in the proceedings regarding the complaint filed by the Association of Citizens AA against bank B. B., due to discrimination of persons on the basis of age, in the field of providing services for the use of bank loans. The Association of Citizens informed the Commissioner for the Protection of Equality of its intention to conduct, in accordance with Art. 46 para. 4 of the Law on Prohibition of Discrimination, a situational testing of “potential discrimination of persons based on age, in the field of providing services for the use of bank loans”, in order to directly verify whether bank employees comply with the Law on Prohibition of Discrimination when providing their services. The complaint further stated that a volunteer discrimination surveyor (on September 13, 2021, at 9:00 a.m.) visited the bank’s branch office in New Belgrade accompanied by V.V., situational testing coordinator and president of the management board of the Association of citizens A.A., in order to be informed about the conditions for granting a cash dinar loan for citizens over the age of 80. In the statement, the bank did not dispute the allegations in the complaint that they do not approve loans to people over the age of 80, because they believe that the bank does not belong to the group of persons who provide public services and that it is obliged to manage the credit risk. Assessing all the risks and taking into account the nature of the loan, granting loans to citizens over 80 years old would carry an incomparably higher credit risk for the bank. In this particular case, it is obvious that people over 80 years old, who want to submit an application for a cash dinar loan to the bank are prevented from doing so since this bank does not consider these applications for persons over 80 years of age. The Commissioner for the Protection of Equality does not dispute the right of banks to assess credit ability and credit risk in each individual case, because they have a legitimate and law-based interest in securing an appropriate profit by placing funds, which implies an adequate assessment of credit risk when approving the use of a specific service. However, this does not give banks the right to exclude, that is, prevent access to banking services to entire groups of citizens based on some personal characteristic, in this case, age. Therefore, the Commissioner issued the opinion that by stipulating the condition that only persons up to 80 years of age can be beneficiaries of the loan, bank B. B. violated the provisions of Art. 6, Art. 17, para. 1 and Art. 23 of the Law on Prohibition of Discrimination.



Brankica Janković

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