MPs 'Support' Imprisonment for Spreading False Bank Information
Bulgarian lawmakers back a proposal envisaging jail for dissemination of false news on banks, Parliament's Finance Committee Chair Yordan Tsonev said.
"Amendments could not be introduced into the Criminal Code in less than two weeks," Tsonev was quoted as explaining by public broadcaster BNR after submitting to Parliament a proposal which his Committee received earlier by the Bulgarian National Bank (BNB).
The central bank suggests that those responsible for spreading misleading information regarding any bank or financial institution receive a sentence of 5 to 10 years of imprisonment and be imposed a fine between BGN 5000 and 1000.
BNB sent Monday its proposal for amendments to the Budget and Finance Committee at the Bulgarian Parliament, and the text was discussed at the Committee in a matter of hours.
Tsonev believes a similar measure could prevent any attacks on the stability of Bulgaria's financial and banking system.
The latest developments come days after two of the country's largest banks, Corporate Commercial Bank (KTB) and First Investment Bank were subject to alleged rumors prompting thousands of people to withdraw their assets.
As a result BNB placed KTB under conservatorship and had to restate its commitment to supporting the banking system after rumors spread about FIBank last Friday.
The EU also intervened by granting EUR 1.65 B of liquidity support for the sector, though making clear it considered it stable.
Tsonev asserted what happened at KTB was not related to withdrawing state assets from the bank.
Years ago, MPs were forced to adopt legal amendments after it was revealed vast quantities of the state's money were in KTB.
After the scandal, a threshold was imposed allowing a single bank to hold just up to 25% of state funds.