Central Bank Bans Services by Diners Club
Banka Slovenije revoked Friday the license for payment service of Diners Club Slovenija, the Slovenian franchise of the American charge card operator, in a surprise move that affects 80,000 cardholders in the country and foreign cardholders wanting to use their cards in Slovenia.
The decision to revoke Diners Club Slovenije's license for payment service was taken by the central bank on Tuesday and made public on Friday, when the company was served with the decision.
In a statement posted on its website, Banka Slovenije said that Diners Club Slovenije must cease all payment services for its members.
It gave no explanation initially for its decision to revoke the license, but later explained Diners Club had fallen behind in payments to merchants.
The Chamber of Commerce (TZS), however, said it had no information from merchants regarding delayed payments.
Diners Club Slovenije voiced surprise with the decision, which it ascribed to a special demand made by the central bank that the company could not yet meet because it was waiting for the completion of a transaction that had been delayed by lengthy administrative proceedings.
According to the company, fulfilment of the central bank's demand was dependent on it receiving proceeds from the sale of Diners Club Italia and its subsidiary Dinit. The transaction has not been completed yet because of a series of administrative procedures in various countries.
"It is common in the business world that such transactions take several months," the company said, adding that it had provided regular updates to Banka Slovenije on the progress as well as guarantees from all parties involved in the deal.
The company stressed that it complied with all capital requirements in Slovenia, adding that there were at least ten banks in Slovenia which, according to publicly accessible information, did not meet these requirements but were still operating.
As a result, it said it would take legal action to "resolve the unpleasant situation" and implement all other measures at its disposal to enable its members to use their cards normally.
As part of its decision, Banka Slovenije instructed all retailers to cease accepting Diners Club cards issued by Diners Clulb Slovenija and other issuers of Diners Club cards outside of Slovenia.
Diners Club Slovenija is owned by Findale Enterprises, a Virgin Islands-based company controlled by Slovenian businessman Tomaž Lovše.