The Slovenia Times

Diners Club Debacle Resolved


Diners Club International, specified in a joint press release as the current owner of the franchise, future owner Erste Card Club and creditor banks UniCredit Banka Slovenija and Hypo Alpe-Adria-Bank reached an agreement after weeks of talks.

Erste Card Club will start providing payment services once a card payment licence is issued by the central bank. This is expected in July, the press release said on Thursday.

More than a month ago, the central bank revoked Diners Club's licence due to mounting debt. At the time the licence was suspended, Diners Club Slovenia owed EUR 22m. The company is owned by Findale Enterprises based in the British Virgin Islands, which is controlled by Slovenian Tomaž Lovše.

The suspension of card payments left 80,000 card holders unable to use their cards for payments. Diners Club cards issued by franchises located in other countries could also not be used in Slovenia.

Today's agreement was backed by the central bank as well as the Slovenian Consumer Association and the Commerce Chamber. The chamber said in a press release that Diners Club Slovenia and DC Finance, a related company, owe its members EUR 29m.

The chamber expects the claims past due to be repaid by 27 June and will demand a promise that all non past due obligations will be repaid before relaunching cooperation with the future Diners Card payment provider for Slovenia.

Under the deal, Diners Club International will buy - with the help of creditor banks - the liabilities (excluding interest) of Diners Club Slovenia, which will go into the hands of Erste Card Club, the press release said.

Matt Sloan, the head of Diners Club International for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, said in the press release that Diners Club appreciated its partnership with sellers across the world and that it was important for the company to be able to repay partners in Slovenia.

"Being a strong and stable financial institution, we will work to become a reliable partner for both sellers as well as card holders," said Erste Card CEO Željko Menalo.

Hypo Alpe-Adria-Bank chairman Heribert Fernau and Unicredit bank chairman Stefan Vavti asked card holders to pay their card bills on time.


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