UBA head speaks about legislative changes relating to bank secrecy

22.10.2019 15:27
UBA head speaks about legislative changes relating to bank secrecy

YEREVAN, October 22. /ARKA/. President of the Union of Banks of Armenia (UBA) Mher Abrahamyan said in an interview to whom the amendment to the law on bank secrecy will not apply, the press office of the union reports.

On September 12, the Armenian government approved a set of amendments to the laws on Criminal Procedure and Bank Secrecy, which implies the disclosure of customers bank information.
Mher Abrahamyan said either the current law or the proposed amendments imply that law-enforcement agencies can require and get customer bank information only if they are suspects of a criminal case or were accused of committing crimes.

In its present form the law hinders the investigation of cases which involve corruption risks, since investigations often involve not only the suspects or the accused, but also people who are related to them, and in some cases the evidence which is necessary to involve a person as an accused is not available because of bank secrecy.

The proposed amendments call for removal of these restrictions, but at the same time they provide for specific mechanisms of guarantees and restrictions. In particular, a full list of crimes is to be established for courts to order disclosure of a person's bank secrets.

"A citizen who doesn't carry out shady dealings and has nothing to do with illegal enrichment will not feel any change in the law on bank secrecy, since the project has a clear focus," Mher Abrahamyan said in his interview.

He stressed that if the amended law will applied properly, then it will have no impacts on the banking system and will not affect its stability and will not undermine clients' confidence in banks. "Anyway, cautious approaches and dissuasive mechanisms are needed here to lessen the risks connected with the human factor and officials," he said.

Mher Abrahamyan is quoted by the union's press office as saying in his interview that the anxiety is mainly prompted by the law public confidence in the judicial system. People fear that investigators and judges will interpret special cases pointed out in the law as they want. He also stressed that the union keeps a close eye on developments and will take an active part in discussions, if necessary. -0---

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