The European Federation of Investors and Financial Services Users (Better Finance) has addressed an open letter to the Government of the Republic of Slovenia and the EU Commission noting the issue of complete expropriation cancellation of subordinated bonds from six Slovenian banks.
The letter follows an extensive discussion held by the Better Finance's General Meeting in November in Paris when a member of the VZMD Expert Council, Mr. Tadej Kotnik, and VZMD President, Mr. Kristjan Verbič, presented the scandalous expropriation of shareholders and bondholders of Slovenian banks, "Bail-in: How far does it have to go?" (presentation).
In its letter, Better Finance President, Mr. Jean Berthon, underlined the fact that some of the canceled bonds had been sold to individual investors over the bank counters as an alternative to deposits, while the brochure, which had been certified by the Securities Market Agency (ATVP), claimed that the risk of loss only existed if bankruptcy proceedings were initiated against a particular bank. Bonds were traded publicly also at the Ljubljana Stock Exchange and trading was in no way limited only to "well-informed" investors.
This intolerable situation in Slovenia has been going on for over two years, and Better Finance pointed out that during this time several bank "bail-ins" happened in the EU, but these proceedings were also completed - either by an investor settlement or settlement negotiations are already underway.
Since the Republic of Slovenia has not begun any such activities yet, Better Finance pointed out with deep concern that persisting on this kind of attitude toward expropriated investors and savers will have adverse consequences on the Slovenian investment atmosphere and the perception of the business and economic environment in the Republic of Slovenia.
Due to the above, Better Finance urged the European Commission and the Government of Republic of Slovenia in particular, to immediately examine the possibilities to resolve this untenable situation and begin settlement proceedings as soon as possible.
Better Finance's letter was sent last week to European Commission President, Mr. Jean-Claude Juncker, European Commission Vice-President for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness, Mr. Jyrki Katainen, Commissioner for Financial Stability, Financial Services and Capital Markets Union, Mr. Jonathan Hill, the Prime Minister of the Republic of Slovenia, Mr. Miro Cerar, and the Finance Minister of the Republic of Slovenia, Mr. Dušan Mramor. A courtesy copy was also sent to VZMD President, Mr. Kristan Verbič, who is also a member of Better Finance's Executive Board.
The European Federation of Investors and Financial Services Users of which VZMD has been a full member since its foundation, is an European non-governmental organization bringing together over 50 national and international associations representing the interests of shareholders, individual investors, and other financial services users.