KARACHI - The Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP) here on Friday found four banks involved in violation of competition ordinance, however did not impose a penalty upon any of these banks. The Competition Commission of Pakistan through an Order has found four banks namely, Askari Bank Limited, Habib Bank Limited, MyBank Limited and United Bank Limited, to have acted in violation of section 10 of the Competition Ordinance, said an order of the Commission issued here. The Order, passed by a Single Member Bench of the Commission comprising of Ms. Rahat Kaunain Hassan (Member Legal/OFT), said hat Section 10 of the Competition Ordinance prohibits deceptive marketing practices and, among other things, provision of false and misleading information to consumers. The commission, however, did not impose a penalty upon any of the banks in view of the fact that the Undertakings stopped the subject advertisements upon initiation of proceedings and have expressed willingness to comply with the provisions of section 10, as evidenced by the written commitments made by them. The Single Member therefore took a lenient view and no penalty has been imposed on the banks, the order said. The Commission had taken suo moto notice of advertisements issued by the 4 banks in the print media advertising deposits accounts along with the associated profit rates for such accounts. These advertisements announced different tenors and varying expected rates of return for the account holders. Pursuant to its powers under section 37 of the Ordinance, the Commission conducted an enquiry into whether these advertisements were deceptive and thereafter issued Show Cause Notices to all 4 banks. After giving due opportunity of hearing to all the parties, the Single Member Bench held that the relevant print advertisements were deceptive in that they did not specify the basis of the calculation of the expected rate of return, did not disclose the consequences of early withdrawal from such deposit accounts and carried important information in small print. While relying on a precedent from the US the Single Member referred to the Truth in Savings Act in the US which lists the different requirements to be followed when advertising financial goods or services. More specifically the banks engaged in deceptive marketing practices by providing misleading information about the character of the goods/services. The Order also clarified that section 10 applies to both goods and services. The banks also submitted undertakings before the Commission stating their position. The Single Member Bench held that the advertisements of the banks were capable of harming the business interests of other undertakings by luring customers away from them. The Order goes on to state that any advertisement which falsely asserts a claim, whether that claim is made up front or is implied, is deceptive and misleading. The banks have been warned in the Order that future violations would carry serious consequences, the order said adding that it should also serve as a guideline for all banks and other undertakings concerned. The Order also records appreciation of the Sbp for timely endorsement of the actions taken by the Commission. Talking to media men, Chairman CCP, Khalid A. Mirza said that the commission was working towards ensuring healthy business competition in the country adding that it has acted against several cartels since its establishment. He said that the commission has taken action against various industries, including cement, sugar and ghee for violation the competition ordinance.