Competition Commission responds to claims of unethical conduct by banks

CEO of Travelstart, Stephan Ekbergh alleges that banks act in an unethical and anti-competitive manner in the sharing of client information between customers and a subsidiary of that particular bank.

He says that the problem arises when banks get more and more active in poaching their card holders with offers exclusive to the banks that they are with.

Read: Can banks share personal information without consent?

As a small business owner, the same bank poaches my customers that I paid money to advertise. When they use their bank card to purchase, the bank uses that information to poach them to their preferred outlet.

Stephan Ekbergh, CEO at Travelstart

I have seen documents of how much customers they can poach and we talking billions of travel spend.

Stephan Ekbergh, CEO at Travelstart

Commissioner at the Competition Commission, Thembinkosi Bonakele, says for the commission to intervene, it has to be established that the bank that is using this data to poach clients is dominant in the market. It can be looked at as an abuse of dominance, he says.

This is the first qualification for competition laws to be applicable...

Thembinkosi Bonakele, Commissioner of the Competition Commission

Bonakele says it needs to be established that the information acquired is being used to favour the preferred suppliers or to increase the costs of rivals.

To listen to the full interview, listen below:

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