Trials on the Exclusion of Discrimination Demonstrated by the Banks

In December of 2019, on behalf of 4 physical entities the lawyers of the Protection of Rights without Borders NGO filed appeals to the Yerevan Court of General Jurisdiction against the banks operating in the Republic of Armenia with the demand to recognize the applied discrimination fact and compensate the moral damages.

The applicants were citizens of the Republic of Armenia and Islamic Republic of Iran respectively, who had applied to “Ameriabank” CJSC, “Acba-Credit Acricole Bank” CJSC, “Converse Bank” CJSC  respectively in order to receive banking services (opening of foreign currency account and card provision, making transfers in foreign currencies from account, etc.).

The banks rejected to provide the relevant services, taking into account the ground that the latter were citizens of Islamic Republic of Iran and mentioning that the restriction in regard to the citizenship of Islamic Republic of Iran was applied in a line with the relevant internal legislative acts of the bank.

In such conditions, the Republic of Armenia banks ignored the rights of the citizens who were born in the Islamic Republic of Iran with Iranian and Armenian citizenship by subjecting the latter to discrimination violating their right to getting banking services in equal conditions with other citizens.

On June 11 of 2020, the initial judicial sitting on the two cases of the applicant against “Ameriabank” CJSC was held, during which the representatives of the applicant presented the grounds and demands of the appeal.

The court discussed the issue to unite the two cases, as well as the respondent was given time to present written observations.

The following demands were put on the basis of the presented appeals presented by the lawyers of the PRWB NGO:

  • Recognize, that the rejection to provide banking services by the Armenian banks was conditioned by discrimination on citizenship grounds against the applicants
  • Restore the previous situation before the violation of the rights by obliging the respondent banks to provide the relevant services,
  • Provide non-material (moral) damage compensation as a result of being subjected to discrimination.