Wednesday, September 29
I hope I will not bore you if I return to the subject of the Czech National Bank. Their policies and decisions affect all of us. Frequently, they make decisions that a large number of people disagree with. What worries me is that twice in the last three weeks they have justified their policies with arguments which can be refuted by simple observation of the world beyond the Czech border. The first example which I commented on, concerned adoption of the euro.
This week, HN related how Czech companies which do business in the eurozone are saving a lot of money by opening Slovak bank accounts in euros. This is because, as we know from experience, you can have a euro account with a Czech bank, but they will still charge you a ridiculous amount if you make a payment into a euro account in, say, Germany.
I should here acknowledge that our bank, Raiffeisen, has recently reduced its euro-to-euro charges, so they are much lower than those of CSOB, as quoted in the HN article. But they are still far higher than a Slovak bank would charge.
The CNB however, sees nothing wrong with this. In the article its spokesman claims that these charges helped us avoid the banking crisis suffered by other countries. "We are one of only three EU countries which did not have to bail out its banking sector during the crisis", Marek Petrus proudly tells us.
The trouble with this boast is, one of the other countries was...Slovakia!