Where can I get information about transaction accounts and their holders?
Information about transaction accounts and holders of transaction accounts is available in the register of transaction accounts, which is administered by the Agency of the Republic of Slovenia for Public Legal Records and Related Services (AJPES). Details about how the information from the aforementioned register can be obtained are provided on the AJPES website.
Where can I get information on the balance and transactions in transaction accounts?
Information on the balance and transactions in transaction accounts is at the disposal of the (commercial) banks and savings banks that manage the accounts.
Where can I get information about deposit accounts and their holders?
Deposit accounts are a special type of account managed by certain banks and savings banks. By definition deposit accounts are not transaction accounts, and cannot be used for the purpose of executing payments or for other purposes related to the provision of banking services for the user. Deposit accounts have a strictly defined purpose.
Because deposit accounts are not classified as transaction accounts, information about these accounts is not kept in the register of transaction accounts administered by the Agency of the Republic of Slovenia for Public Records and Related Legal Services (AJPES). The information about deposit accounts (and holders of deposit accounts) is thus solely at the disposal of the (commercial) banks and savings banks that manage the accounts in question.
Where can I get information about accounts in the rest of the world? Are there registers of bank (transaction) accounts in foreign countries?
The register of transaction accounts administered by the Agency of the Republic of Slovenia for Public Legal Records and Related Services (AJPES) does not include information about the accounts that individuals and legal entities have open at banks in the rest of the world.
The Bank of Slovenia does not have information as to whether there are registers of bank (transaction) accounts in foreign countries along the lines of the register administered by AJPES.
OBTAINING INFORMATION ABOUT ACCOUNTS
Is a bank required by law to open a transaction account at the request of a payment service user? Can a bank refuse to open an account for a payment service user?
The Payment Services and Systems Act (in Slovene), which regulates this area, does not in principle recognise any restrictions in connection with opening a transaction account at a bank (or savings bank). Here it should be clarified that opening a transaction account is a business decision on the part of the bank as to whether to establish a business relationship with the client in question. As a matter of business policy, a particular bank may for example refuse to work with an individual who has a blocked transaction account at another bank, who has outstanding liabilities to the bank on the basis of a previous business relationship between them, or with whom the bank has generally had a bad experience.
Notwithstanding the general arrangements above, a consumer is entitled to access a basic payment account under certain conditions. Any consumer legally residing in the European Union is entitled to a basic payment account in accordance with the Payment Services and Systems Act, including consumers with no fixed address, asylum-seekers and consumers whose residence permit has not been granted but whose expulsion is impossible for legal or factual reasons. A bank (or savings bank) should refuse an application to open a basic payment account when opening an account of this type would entail a breach of the law governing the prevention of money laundering and terrorist financing (AML/CFT). In addition, the bank also has the option of refusing a consumer’s application to open a basic payment account in cases explicitly set out by law (and solely in these cases) as follows:
- if the consumer already has a payment account at a bank in Slovenia that allows him/her to use payment services available within the framework of the basic payment account (except when the consumer indicates that he/she has been informed that the payment account will be closed), i.e. if he/she already has a payment account that provides for the same set of services as a basic payment account
- if the consumer breaches a contractual obligation to the bank, or has done so in the last three years
- if the bank has information that owing to a lack of funds in a payment account of the consumer, including a basic payment account, a record of unexecuted orders for enforcement or forcible recovery has been established in the account
For more information about the basic payment account, see the answer to the question on the basic payment account.
Can a bank unilaterally close a payment service user’s transaction account?
The management of a transaction account is based on a contractual relationship between the account holder (the payment service user) and the bank (the payment service provider). Given that it is a matter of a contract under civil law, either of the contracting parties may (under the conditions stipulated in the contract) terminate the contractual relationship (close the transaction account). Closing a transaction account is therefore a decision by the contracting parties to terminate (withdraw from) the contractual relationship (with a notice period). The closure of a transaction account (withdrawal from the contract) must be defined in the payment service provider’s general terms and conditions, which usually stipulate that either contracting party may unilaterally (after the notice period) withdraw from the contract (close the account). The Payment Services and Systems Act (in Slovene) stipulates that the notice period for the payment service user’s withdrawal from the contract may be no longer than one month, while the notice period for the payment service provider’s withdrawal from the contract must be at least two months.
In the case of a basic payment account, the bank (or savings bank) may only withdraw from the contract granting access to the basic payment account in the cases explicitly set out by the Payment Services and Systems Act, namely:
- if the consumer intentionally uses the basic payment account for unlawful purposes
- if there has been no transaction in the basic payment account for more than 24 consecutive months
- if the consumer submitted inaccurate information to obtain the right to a basic payment account, when on the basis of accurate information the right would not have been obtained
- if the consumer no longer legally resides in the European Union
- if the consumer subsequently opens a payment account at another bank that allows him/her to use the payment services available within the framework of a basic payment account
- if the consumer breaches a contractual obligation to the bank, or has done so in the last three years
- under the conditions with regard to withdrawal from a contract set out by other laws
For more information about the basic payment account, see more frequently asked questions and answers.
What is a basic payment account, who is entitled to one, and what services does it include?
A basic payment account is a form of transaction account or payment account to which any consumer legally residing in the European Union is entitled in accordance with the Payment Services and Systems Act (in Slovene), including consumers with no fixed address, asylum-seekers and consumers whose residence permit has not been granted but whose expulsion is impossible for legal or factual reasons. The bank (or savings bank) may only refuse a consumer’s application to open a basic payment account in cases explicitly stipulated by law, and special rules apply to the bank’s unilateral withdrawal from the contract.
Under the Payment Services and Systems Act, a basic payment account is required to provide all the services necessary for opening, managing and closing a payment account; services that allow funds to be deposited in the payment account and cash to be withdrawn from the payment account in the EU at a bank counter or ATM during or outside bank business hours; the execution of domestic and cross-border direct debits, payment transactions with a payment card including online payments, and the execution of domestic and cross-border credit transfers, including standing orders, transactions at POS terminals, transactions at bank counters and online banking services.
Is the basic payment account free-of-charge?
The Payment Services and Systems Act (in Slovene) stipulates that the services in connection with providing a basic payment account may be provided by the bank (or savings bank) free-of-charge, or in return for an appropriate fee. When the bank opts to charge a fee, it must be determined in accordance with the Decision on the features of the basic payment account, and the method for calculating the appropriate fee for providing a basic payment account (in Slovene).
What is the process for switching a payment account?
Every consumer has the option of switching a payment account open at a payment service provider in Slovenia. Switching is facilitated by the payment service provider in accordance with the new Payment Services and Systems Act (in Slovene), which sets out in detail the process of switching a payment account, the associated fees, and the responsibilities of the payment service providers involved in the switching process.
Can a Slovenian firm open a transaction account at a bank in the rest of the world?
Slovenian legislation does not explicitly prohibit business being transacted via an account in the rest of the world, and in the opinion of the Bank of Slovenia such conduct is allowed.
Two provisions of the Tax Procedure Act (in Slovene) are notably of relevance in this connection. The aforementioned law stipulates that “legal persons and other corporate persons, sole traders, individuals independently pursuing registered business activities, administrative bodies, other government bodies and local authority bodies, and public authorisation holders shall transfer payments for goods supplied and services provided into their transaction accounts open at a payment service provider”. To ensure that transfers are made into transaction accounts, the Tax Procedure Act stipulates that “persons referred to in Article 31 of this act shall have a transaction account open at a payment service provider”, where the aforementioned law does not explicitly stipulate that a business entity is required to open an account at a bank (or savings bank) in Slovenia, but merely stipulates that the business entity is required to open an account via which it transacts its business, i.e. a transaction account. In connection with these provisions we should emphasise that the Bank of Slovenia is not responsible for interpreting tax regulations, for which reason we advise that official clarifications with regard to the aforementioned requirements be sought from the Ministry of Finance or the Financial Administration of the Republic of Slovenia.
The Bank of Slovenia is responsible for supervising the implementation of the Payment Services and Systems Act (in Slovene), which defines the term “transaction account”. The aforementioned definition gives rise to a restriction on the management of such accounts to banks (and savings banks) in Slovenia: “a transaction account is a payment account opened by a bank established in the Republic of Slovenia or by a branch of a Member States bank in the Republic of Slovenia on behalf of one or several users for the purposes of executing payment transactions and for other purposes related to the provision of banking services to the user”. In this connection we should clarify that in the Payment Services and Systems Act a transaction account is defined as a payment account open at a bank in Slovenia solely for the purpose of establishing an obligation in connection with such accounts on the part of domestic banks and savings banks with regard to reporting such accounts to the register of transaction accounts at the Agency of the Republic of Slovenia for Public Legal Records and Related Services. The main purpose of the register is providing information about transaction accounts in which enforcement can be executed. The purpose of the aforementioned definition of a transaction account only covered payment accounts open at banks and branches in Slovenia. It was not the intention of the Payment Services and Systems Act to grant recognition of use for the purpose of receiving the payments of business entities in the sense of the Tax Procedure Act solely to accounts of this type open at banks in Slovenia, for which reason in the opinion of the Bank of Slovenia the aforementioned provisions should not be interpreted in the sense of the definition of a transaction account under the Payment Services and Systems Act, particularly given that the relevant European legislation and various initiatives strive for the free choice of payment service provider in the single European market.
In this connection it should be noted that tax regulations set out a requirement to report information on transaction accounts open at banks in the rest of the world. The Financial Administration Act (in Slovene) stipulates that legal entities and individuals must also provide information on the numbers of accounts open at banks outside Slovenia, for the purposes of the tax register. The aforementioned law stipulates that a person entered in the tax register must notify the competent financial office of any changes to the information entered in the tax register that the financial office does not obtain ex officio on the basis of data from other registers and records within eight days of the change occurring. For more detailed information on the process and method for registering an account open at a bank in another country, contact the competent financial office.
Can either the payer or payee make the execution of payments contingent upon a payment account open at a payment service provider in Slovenia?
The Regulation establishing technical and business requirements for credit transfers and direct debits in euro, which applies directly to Slovenia (as an EU Member State), explicitly stipulates that a payer making a credit transfer to a payee holding a payment account in the EU may not specify the Member State in which the payment account must be located. This means that the payer may not set conditions for the payee into whose account the funds will be transferred, provided that the payee has an account open in the EU and it is reachable in accordance with the Regulation establishing technical and business requirements for credit transfers and direct debits in euro. This additionally stipulates that a payee accepting a credit transfer or using a direct debit to collect funds from a payer who has an account open in the EU may not specify the Member State in which the payment account is to be located.
As a sole trader, must I have a separate transaction account for business transactions, or will a single (personal) transaction account suffice?
The Tax Procedure Act (in Slovene) no longer requires sole traders to have a separate transaction account for purposes in connection with the pursuit of business activities. A sole trader may have a single transaction account, while when opening a transaction account the bank must check with the client as to the intended purpose of the transaction account, and must designate the transaction account accordingly for the purposes of administering the register of transaction accounts.
Can a sole trader open a personal transaction account at a bank for the purpose of business transactions, and is a transaction account of this type published in the register of transaction accounts administered by the Agency of the Republic of Slovenia for Public Legal Records and Related Services?
First it should be clarified that there are no specific legal obligations on the part of banks (and savings banks) with regard to opening transaction accounts, except in the case of basic payment accounts. Opening a transaction account is a business decision on the part of the bank as to whether to establish a business relationship with the client in question. In this connection it should be emphasised that the Payment Services and Systems Act (in Slovene), which regulates the concept of a transaction account, does not define different types of transaction account such as personal or business accounts, and does not impose any obligations on banks with regard to opening a specific type of transaction account; instead banks are merely required to appropriately designate transaction accounts for the purposes of administering the register of transaction accounts, which is explained below.
The distinction between transaction accounts for individuals and those for business entities proceeds indirectly from the Payment Services and Systems Act, under which banks are required to regularly provide data to the Agency of the Republic of Slovenia for Public Legal Records and Related Services (AJPES) for the establishment and management of the register of transaction accounts. To this end the Act on the Establishment and Management of the Register of Transaction Accounts (in Slovene) sets out the designation of account types, while the appendix defines designations of account types with regard to the status of the account holder and with regard to the attributes of the funds in the account.
When the holder of a transaction account is an entity entered in the business register (including sole traders and registered professionals), and it is therefore a transaction account used for the entity’s business purposes, under the aforementioned act the transaction account must be designated a T-type account by the bank. Accounts of this type are administered in the business section of the register of transaction accounts, and are public by nature. Private individuals’ transaction accounts are designated A-type accounts, and are classed as personal data, access to which is covered by the rules set out by the Personal Data Protection Act (in Slovene), and are therefore not public by nature. The Payment Services and Systems Act and the Act on the Establishment and Management of the Register of Transaction Accounts, which stipulate that information about the transaction accounts of sole traders and registered professionals entered in the business register is public and can be accessed free-of-charge via AJPES, also apply here.
In the sense of banks’ legal obligations, in the case of a business agreement between the bank and the client to open a new transaction account, the bank’s basic obligation is first to check with the client as to the intention in opening a transaction account (i.e. for what purpose the client intends to use the transaction account), and to designate the transaction account accordingly for the purposes of the aforementioned register. Transaction accounts opened for business purposes by entities entered in the business register (including sole traders, irrespective of whether the transaction account was opened as a personal or business account in practical terms) must be designated as appropriate (T-type) in accordance with the applicable legislation. The actual type of transaction account opened is a business decision for the bank, and is the subject of an agreement between the bank and the client (the bank is required to appropriately designate the account with regard to the information received from the client).
OPENING/CLOSING (TRANSACTION) ACCOUNTS
What is a domestic payment transaction (domestic payment)?
Under the Payment Services and Systems Act (in Slovene), a domestic payment transaction is a payment transaction where the payer’s payment service provider and the payee’s payment service provider or the sole payment service provider provide payment services for the payer and the payee in Slovenia.
What is a cross-border payment transaction (cross-border payment)?
Under the Payment Services and Systems Act (in Slovene), a cross-border payment transaction is a payment transaction where the payer’s payment service provider and the payee’s payment service provider provide payment services for the payer and the payee in different EU Member States. A payment transaction is also classed as cross-border if the same payment service provider provides payment services for the payer in one Member State and for the payee in another Member State.
A foreign business partner asked to me to submit my IBAN and the BIC of my bank. What is the IBAN? What is the BIC?
The IBAN is the international bank account number, which allows for the unique identification of a bank account in payment transactions, where it is possible to differentiate the country of the payment service provider, the payment service provider (bank) that manages the account, and the account holder. For more, see the Bank of Slovenia website.
The BIC is the business identifier code (previously just the bank identifier code), which is generally assigned to institutions providing financial transactions, but can also be obtained by non-financial institutions. The code is used for the automatic identification and routing of financial transactions, and provides a unique identification for financial and non-financial institutions. The BIC is compiled in accordance with ISO 9362, and may consist of eight or 11 characters, the latter including a three-character designation of the branch of the financial institution at the end. The first eight characters of the BIC consist of a four-character institution code, the two-character country code according to the ISO, and an additional two-character location code assigned to a particular country by SWIFT in the BIC registration procedure.
The BIC of NLB d.d. is LJBASI2X.
Banks’ BICs are available on the Bank of Slovenia website. The BIC is required by the payer’s bank for it to quickly and correctly route a payment to the payee’s bank. Current account holders can obtain their BICs from their banks.
Under the Regulation establishing technical and business requirements for credit transfers and direct debits in euro and amending Regulation (EC) No 924/2009 (in Slovene), payment service providers need not request the BIC from the payment service user for domestic payments and SEPA cross-border payments, and merely require the IBAN. For more on the SEPA, see the Bank of Slovenia website.
Can a person have just a single IBAN at a bank in Slovenia, or several?
A person may have several transaction accounts at an individual bank, and therefore several IBANs. Each account has its own unique IBAN.
What does STP mean in payments?
In payments, STP (straight-through processing) entails the introduction of standards that allow for the automatic execution of payment orders, without manual interventions in individual phases of the transaction. This entails orders being submitted electronically in structured form, with citation of the IBAN (and BIC), from the ordering party to the payee.
Is a copy of a payment order, stamped by the bank and signed by a bank employee, proof that the bank has accepted and executed the payment? When is payment actually executed?
A payment order stamped by the bank and signed by a bank employee is not of itself proof that the payment transaction has been executed, although the Consumer Protection Act (in Slovene) establishes the presumption of payment execution for consumers, and stipulates that (without prejudice to the general rules on obligational relations) a consumer’s money obligation that is paid through a bank or other organisation dealing with payment transactions is classed as paid as of the day that the consumer submitted the order to the organisation in question. This means that a confirmed payment order is deemed proof of payment (the consumer’s obligation is deemed to have been performed). In the case of legal entities, the general rules on obligational relations (Code of Obligations, in Slovene) apply.
The execution of payments is regulated in detail by the Payment Services and Systems Act. The aforementioned law stipulates that a payment transaction is executed on the basis of a payment order, which is submitted to the payer’s payment service provider by the payer or payee, whereby the payment service provider is required to execute the payment transaction when it receives the payment order. Under the Payment Services and Systems Act, the payment service provider is deemed to have received the payment order when the payment order has been delivered by a means of communication agreed upon in the payment services contract. Payment order receipt is the moment when the payment service provider gains the opportunity to dispose of the payment order, or when the user submitting the payment order delivers it to the payment service provider as agreed. In the case of paper payment orders, the moment of payment order receipt is when the payment order has been delivered to the possession of the payment service provider (e.g. has been submitted at a bank counter). A payment order stamped by the bank and signed by a bank employee can thus be classed as a payment order that has been received by the payer’s payment service provider in the sense of the Payment Services and Systems Act, and as a payment order that the payer’s payment service provider can no longer refuse in the sense of the Payment Services and Systems Act.
Deadlines for executing payment transactions are set out in the Payment Services and Systems Act: in the case of a domestic payment transaction (where the payer’s payment service provider and the payee’s payment service provider or the sole payment service provider provide payment services for the payer and the payee in Slovenia), the payer’s payment service provider must ensure that the amount of the payment transaction is authorised in the account of the payee’s payment service provider on the same day that the payer’s payment service provider received the payment order in accordance with the Payment Services and Systems Act.
Is it possible to agree with the bank that a client should not be sent bank statements of payment transactions in written form?
The Payment Services and Systems Act (in Slovene) requires the payment service provider that is executing a particular payment transaction on the basis of a framework agreement to send certain information to the payer without delay after the debiting of the payer’s payment account (or after the receipt of the payment order, if the payer does not use a payment account). The Payment Services and Systems Act also requires payment service providers to provide information to the payee on the same model. The law allows the payment service provider and the user to agree on a different way of sending information on the execution of a particular payment transaction on the basis of the framework agreement, e.g. at certain time intervals (at least once a month).
In connection with the provision of this information to the payment service user on paper, the aforementioned law stipulates that a payment service user who is a consumer may request the payment service provider to send information on individual executed payment transactions on paper once a month free-of-charge. This request does not apply when the payment service user is not a consumer: the law in no way requires the payment service provider to send information on executed payment transactions on paper to a payment service user that is not a consumer (i.e. not even at the user’s request). However, the payment service provider is required to send the payment service user all information in connection with the execution of a particular payment transaction on the basis of the framework agreement in the manner agreed upon in the framework agreement. An alternative to paper statements that provides information in another form, e.g. electronically, is allowed if the two contracting parties agree in the agreement.
What rights do I have as a consumer in the event of the abuse of a payment card (payment instrument)?
First, it should be clarified that the use of payment instruments is regulated by the Payment Services and Systems Act (in Slovene). This regulates liability in the event of the execution of a payment transaction without the payer’s consent (an unauthorised payment transaction). Under the Payment Services and Systems Act, the payment service user covers the loss in the amount of the unauthorised payment transaction (and other amounts) up to a maximum of EUR 150, if the execution of unauthorised payment transactions that caused the loss was the result of the use of a lost or stolen payment instrument or the abuse of a payment instrument. When the loss exceeds EUR 150, the difference is covered by the payment service provider of the user (the payer). Here it should be noted that under the Payment Services and Systems Act the user is required to use the payment instrument with due care and diligence and to inform the payment service provider without delay of the loss, theft or abuse of a payment instrument. Under the Payment Services and Systems Act, the user only covers the loss in full in the case of fraud, gross negligence or intent on the part of the user. Gross negligence or intent on the part of the user are assessed according to the general rules of obligational law with regard to liability, whereby the payment service provider is required to prove that the user acted intentionally, with gross negligence, or fraudulently.
In connection with the obligation to refund losses caused by unauthorised payment transactions, it can be clarified that the obligation arises as soon as the payment service provider receives notice from the user that an unauthorised payment transaction has been executed, although in connection with the refund of loss it is necessary to consider the circumstances of each case: if the circumstances reveal that the user’s claim is clearly unjustified and it is an obvious case of fraud or gross negligence on the part of the user or in other circumstances where the payment service provider may be released from liability for the loss (as explained above), there is no justifiable reason in such a case for the payment service provider to immediately refund the loss on the basis of the user’s request. In such a case the payment service provider requires time to obtain solid, convincing proof of release from liability. However in such a case the payment service provider is liable for any damage incurred by unjustifiable delay if the user’s claim is determined to be well-founded in the subsequent process of evidence gathering and investigation of the circumstances. The payment service provider is therefore liable for the correctness of the decision to grant, refuse or conditionally refuse the user’s claim from the moment that the user submits the claim.
Who should I call when my bank card is blocked after being stolen, removed or lost?
The Payment Services and Systems Act (in Slovene) stipulates that before concluding a framework agreement a payment service provider is required to provide a payment service user with information about how to report the loss, theft or abuse of a payment instrument. Under the aforementioned law the payment service user is required to report the loss, theft or abuse of the payment instrument to the payment service provider (or a person designated by the payment service provider) without delay. For the user to be able to perform the obligation of informing the payment service provider, the payment service provider is required to provide for mechanisms that allow the payment service user to report the loss, theft or abuse of a payment instrument to the payment service provider at any time (24 hours a day, every day), and is also required to inform the user in advance of these mechanisms and methods of reporting.
In keeping with the above, when entering into a business relationship (opening a transaction account and/or issuing a payment card) the payment service provider (e.g. a bank) is therefore required to inform the payment service user (the payment card holder) of how the loss, theft or abuse of the payment card should be reported to the payment service provider. In practice payment service providers usually cite a special telephone number for reporting incidents in the general terms and conditions, and information about telephone numbers for reporting incidents or for cancelling payment cards is often cited on the payment service provider’s website and on the payment card itself, for the cardholder to be able to separately store or memorise the telephone number for the purpose of reporting any incident with the payment card to the payment service provider.
What is the bank’s liability to the consumer in the event of a payment transaction being incorrectly executed?
The payment service provider’s liability for an incorrectly executed payment transaction ordered by the payer directly with the payment service provider is set out in the Payment Services and Systems Act (in Slovene). The incorrect execution of a payment transaction is an error in the execution of the payment transaction (e.g. execution to the wrong payee or a delay in execution). Under the law, the payer’s payment service provider is required (if liable for an incorrectly executed payment transaction) to refund the amount of the incorrectly executed payment transaction to the payer without delay (or to restore the balance in the payment account as if the erroneous payment had not been executed if the payment transaction was debited against the payer’s payment account). It should be noted that the payment service provider is also liable for refunding losses from fees charged to the user, and interest to which the payer is entitled in connection with the incorrectly executed payment transaction.
It can be clarified that the payer’s payment service provider is not liable for the non-execution or incorrect execution of a payment transaction if it is proven that the amount of the payment transaction was correctly authorised for the account of the payee’s payment service provider in accordance with the Payment Services and Systems Act. The liability of the payee’s payment service provider for performing the obligation inherent in the payment transaction arises at the moment when the funds for the payee have been authorised for the account of the payee’s payment service provider. Correct execution of the payment transaction after this moment is assessed from the perspective of obligations under the Payment Services and Systems Act, which regulates disposal of funds, the authorisation date and the debiting of the payment account.
Can a bank raise the prices of its services without advance notice?
The area of payment services is regulated in detail by the Payment Services and Systems Act (in Slovene). Under the aforementioned law, before concluding a framework agreement a payment service provider (e.g. a bank) is required to provide the payment service user with information about the payment service provider, information about the conditions for using payment services, information about fees, and other important information (e.g. in the form of general terms and conditions). Under the Payment Services and Systems Act, in the event of a change in the aforementioned terms and conditions the payment service provider is required to send details of the proposed changes to the user at least two months before the intended day of introduction of the change in conditions. Under the Payment Services and Systems Act, the proposed changes must be sent to the user in written form or on another permanent data medium as agreed in the contract (in the case of electronic banking, notice may be provided via a personal electronic mailbox operated by the electronic bank). Any change in facts of which the payment service provider is required to inform the user when concluding the contract is classed as a change in the terms and conditions of the framework agreement, including a change in the fees charged for the provision of payment services.
The user is generally required to explicitly consent to the proposed changes in terms and conditions, either by signing or in another manner that expresses unambiguous consent. Under the Payment Services and Systems Act, the contract may stipulate that the user can be presumed to have consented to the proposed changes if the user does not explicitly oppose the implementation of the proposed changes by the stipulated deadline. In this event the contract itself must stipulate that changes are made in this manner, and that the user’s inactivity after being informed of changes is deemed to be consent.
According to the Payment Services and Systems Act, a contract may be challenged with regard to terms and conditions about which the user has not been informed in the correct manner, and the user may claim such changes to be null and void in accordance with the rules of general contract law. If the user has not been informed in any way of a change, the consequences of the implementation of such (unilateral) changes are assessed on the basis of the general rules of obligational law.
Where can I cash travellers cheques?
Cashing travellers cheques is a business activity pursued primarily by (commercial) banks (and savings banks), and non-banking entities providing exchange operations (currency exchange operators). The Bank of Slovenia does not monitor information about these activities separately by individual bank or currency exchange operator. It is necessary to enquire with the individual bank or currency exchange operator in this connection.
Can a merchant charge a customer an additional fee for a credit card payment?
The Payment Services and Systems Act (in Slovene), which regulates the area of payment services in detail, stipulates that it does not prejudice the payee’s right to charge the payer a special fee for the use of a particular payment instrument (e.g. a specific type or brand of payment card). The provisions of the aforementioned law that stipulate that a payee who requires the payment of a special fee from the payer in the event of payment by means of a particular payment instrument is required to inform the payer before the payment transaction is ordered also need to be applied.
For reasons of transparency and clarity, information about any additional fees must be provided in a way that ensures that the customer or payer is informed of such fees before the purchase and before the payment transaction is ordered through the use of a payment card or another payment instrument.
PROVISION OF PAYMENT SERVICES
Can I exchange foreign currency into euros and vice versa at the Bank of Slovenia?
The Bank of Slovenia is a central bank, and generally does not engage in currency exchange. The exception is the exchange of Slovenia’s legacy currency, tolars, into euros (for more, see the Bank of Slovenia website).
The Bank of Slovenia does publish two sets of exchange rates. Its daily exchange rate listing reproduces the ECB’s daily reference exchange rates. There is also a monthly exchange rate listing of currencies for which the ECB does not publish reference rates and precious metal prices (for more, see the Bank of Slovenia website). The two listings are published in order to give the public easier access to information about exchange rates and precious metal prices. The Bank of Slovenia also meets certain legal requirements, for example those in the Accounting Act (in Slovene), by publishing exchange rates and prices. The Bank of Slovenia does not purchase or sell foreign currency or precious metals at the published rates or prices. The published exchange rates and prices are not intended as a basis for the purchase or sale of foreign currency or precious metals between market participants, but instead are to provide information about the value of a particular currency or metal at a particular moment.
Who can provide currency exchange operations in Slovenia?
Under the Foreign Exchange Act (in Slovene), which regulates exchange operations in Slovenia, exchange operations can be provided by banks, savings banks and currency exchange operators that have obtained an authorisation from the Bank of Slovenia. A register of banks and savings banks and a list of currency exchange operators are published on the Bank of Slovenia website.
Is there a list of the currencies exchanged by individual licensed currency exchange operators?
There are no lists of currencies exchanged by individual operators, as operators are free to decide which currencies they will exchange. Whether a particular operator exchanges a particular currency should be verified with the operator in question.
Can I exchange damaged foreign currency for undamaged foreign currency, or expired foreign currency for transaction foreign currency at the Bank of Slovenia?
No, the Bank of Slovenia is only responsible for exchanging damaged euro cash. Damaged or expired foreign currency should be exchanged at the central bank that issued the currency.
What is TARGET2-Securities?
TARGET2-Securities is a single technical platform owned by the central banks of the Eurosystem, and is intended for the settlement of securities transactions by providing simultaneous settlement of securities in accounts at a central securities depository and of euro (and other currencies) in cash accounts at the central bank.
What was the reasoning behind establishing the TARGET2-Securities?
In Europe securities trading takes place on more than 40 regulated markets, while securities clearing is undertaken at more than 20 central counterparties and securities settlement is undertaken at more than 40 central securities depositories. By contrast, in the USA there are only three securities trading platforms (NASDAQ, NYSE and BATS), two clearing houses (NSCC and FICC) and two central securities depositories (DTCC and Fedwire Securities).
The fragmented nature of Europe’s post-trade infrastructure diminishes its efficiency, and consequently the efficiency of the entire European securities market, as it does not allow for the desired economies of scale to be attained, thereby reducing the average cost per transaction. The main reason for this fragmented nature is the past need to provide locally effective infrastructural support in the national currency to develop the national market, while the historically separate development is still reflected in differences in legislation, technical solutions that are only partly compatible, differing hours of operation and not entirely comparable market practices. Users are consequently required to be familiar with and take account of different technical and operational solutions if they want to do business in the European securities market. They need access to different systems, which increases the complexity, the costs and the risks of executing cross-border transactions, and simultaneously represents a barrier to the development of cross-border trading.
In July 2006 the ECB’s Governing Council decided to explore the possibility of establishing TARGET2-Securities, and a decision to build the system was taken in July 2008.
What are the anticipated effects of TARGET2-Securities?
The purpose of TARGET2-Securities is to contribute to putting in place uniform technical standards for settlement infrastructure in the EU, increasing the efficiency and security of cross-border securities settlement, standardising domestic and cross-border settlement procedures, speeding up the process of harmonising and standardising settlement services, increasing competition between providers of post-trade services, optimising market participants’ liquidity management and reducing the existing gaps in settlement costs between domestic and cross-border transactions.
The establishment of TARGET2-Securities is expected to ease investors’ access to securities issued at other central securities depositories, and to improve securities issuers’ opportunities to expand their international base of investors. TARGET2-Securities also benefits Eurosystem central banks and their counterparties participating in credit operations that require secure and efficient ways of pledging domestic and foreign securities as collateral for Eurosystem loans. The indirect benefits of TARGET2-Securities are evident in the intensive activities for the harmonisation of local market practices and procedures for corporate actions.
What is the functional positioning of TARGET2-Securities in the securities market?
Central securities depositories provide securities settlement, issuance, account management and corporate actions processing. Of these, it is the provision of securities settlement that is most standardised and, to a lesser extent, locally regulated. TARGET2-Securities is thus positioned exclusively in the area of securities settlement in central bank money, and does not encroach on the areas of securities trading, clearing of securities transactions, securities issuance or custody.
How does TARGET2-Securities work?
TARGET2-Securities functions as an external provider of settlement services for central securities depositories and central banks. Central securities depositories manage securities accounts in TARGET2-Securities for their participants, and central banks manage cash accounts, while in the legal sense both remain part of the settlement system under the jurisdiction of the local central securities depository (securities accounts) or part of the payment system under the jurisdiction of the central bank (TARGET2-Securities cash accounts). TARGET2-Securities is thus not an independent system; its functionality instead represents an integral part of existing settlement or payment systems. TARGET2-Securities offers a set of advanced settlement algorithms for optimising settlement (e.g. technical netting, central bank loans solely for settlement purposes), which consequently provides for faster settlement, fewer failed settlements, and liquidity savings.
What is the role of Slovenia's AMI-SeCo national stakeholder group?
During the implementation of TARGET2-Securities the need was identified for international harmonisation of a large number of market practices in the functioning of the post-trade segment of the securities market, where the Eurosystem would pursue additional positive effects for the cross-border securities settlement. TARGET2-Securities as technical infrastructure is based on a set of uniform user requirements and consequently on a single set of services (functionality) for market participants, thereby attaining the standardisation of a series of elements in post-trade activities. TARGET2-Securities nevertheless cannot entirely provide for the international harmonisation of legal, technical and procedural arrangements (market practices) in national environments because of the existence of barriers in various areas (e.g. law) that are outside the functioning of TARGET2-Securities. A large number of areas outside the TARGET2-Securities sphere have been identified at EU level with the potential to affect the behaviour of investors and brokers, the harmonisation of which at EU level could represent a further step to integrating European securities markets. Therefore there is constant collaboration between the ECB (as the coordinator at EU level) and the national environments represented by the AMI-SeCo national stakeholder groups to eliminate known barriers and to newly identify potential barriers.
The harmonisation activities directly and indirectly linked to TARGET2-Securities were from August 2007 monitored and discussed in Slovenia within TARGET2-Securities national user group, which was in October 2017 replaced by AMI-SeCo national stakeholder group.
What are the anticipated benefits of the incorporation of the Slovenian environment into TARGET2-Securities?
The incorporation of the Slovenian market into TARGET2-Securities provides for ceaseless involvement in the European harmonisation and integration processes generated by the TARGET2-Securities project. It can therefore be said that incorporation has begun and sped up the identification and elimination of the non-standard features of the functioning of the domestic post-trade segment of the securities market, and has sped up the introduction of internationally comparable practices. In light of the above, the anticipated benefits of the incorporation of the Slovenian environment into TARGET2-Securities are:
- an expansion of the circle of potential foreign investors for Slovenian securities issuers on account of easier access to Slovenian securities on the part of foreign central securities depositories and brokers
- more effective and cheaper execution of cross-border securities settlement as a result of a higher level of harmonisation and standardisation of operational and technical solutions in securities settlement
- improved conditions for expanding cross-border securities transactions as a result of the anticipated reduction in transaction costs for cross-border settlement
- increased efficiency in the operations of Slovenian brokers as a result of the reduction or elimination of the gap between Slovenian and cross-border market practices in securities settlement and the restructuring of business practices
- a range of new services for brokers in the Slovenian securities market (mechanisms for optimising securities settlement, possibility of centralised liquidity for securities settlement across the euro area in a single cash account at the Bank of Slovenia, possibility of the automatic raising of a secured loan at the Bank of Slovenia for securities settlement purposes [i.e. central bank auto-collateralisation], possibility of consolidation of securities in a single securities account at a selected central securities depository)
- increased competition between Slovenian providers of post-trade services
- more efficient implementation of domestic and cross-border collateral procedures for Eurosystem credit operations
- easier access to foreign securities for Slovenian investors and
- the possibility of more effectively connecting Central Securities Clearing Corporation - KDD, with foreign central securities depositories by means of TARGET2-Securities infrastructural services
In enforcement, can the debtor stipulate which bank is the primary bank in enforcement proceedings?
No, this is not possible. The order of current accounts is stated by the creditor in the enforcement motion or by the court before the order is issued (if the creditor did not state current accounts in the enforcement motion).
On what legal basis can a bank execute a (tax) enforcement order and block the debtor’s transaction account? Can the bank block a transaction account before the enforcement order has been received by the debtor?
Tax enforcement is regulated by the Tax Procedure Act (in Slovene), which (modelled on the Enforcement and Security Act, in Slovene) stipulates that tax enforcement on funds that a debtor has in accounts at banks and savings banks is “executed by means of an enforcement order instructing the bank or savings bank to seize the debtor’s funds on the day of the receipt of the order up to the amount of the tax stated in the enforcement order, and to transfer the debtor’s funds to the prescribed accounts”. From the perspective of the bank, the key moment is therefore when the (tax) enforcement order is received by the bank, and not by the debtor. Here it should be noted that if it fails to execute the court order or tax enforcement order in accordance with the instructions, the bank exposes itself to liability for damages vis-à-vis the creditor (and possibly also the debtor).
Can a bank with whom I have a transaction account seize funds in the account in the event of any failure to meet my obligations to the bank?
In the event of any outstanding liabilities to a bank on the part of a client, the bank acts in accordance with the contract concluded with the client when the business relationship was entered into (e.g. when the transaction account was opened). In general, contractual provisions allow the bank to be repaid from funds in the client’s transaction account (irrespective of the nature or source of the funds).
Can a bank seize funds that I have in a transaction account with it for the repayment of costs charged for the execution of enforcement or security orders?
When a bank executes an enforcement or security order, it is required to take account of the Enforcement and Security Act (in Slovene), which stipulates that when a bank is charging a special fee for actions on the basis of an enforcement or security order, the fee may not be settled from earnings that under the aforementioned law are exempt from enforcement, while in the case of enforcement on earnings subject to restricted enforcement in accordance with the aforementioned law, an amount of no more than 76% of the minimum wage is exempt from enforcement. If the debtor supports a family member or provides statutory maintenance for another person, an amount equal to the earnings stipulated for the person being supported by the debtor according to the criteria set out by the law governing social security benefits for the award of cash social assistance is also exempt.