Wednesday, 2 August 2017

Pesky EU Wants UK Banks Etc To Cut Cross-border Payment Fees

Not content with getting the Brits a better deal on mobile roaming charges and otherwise standing up to BigBusiness, the EU now wants to cut fees for non-Euro cross-border payments and currency conversion. The European Commission is inviting answers to two questionnaires by 30 October 2017 on awareness of the high fees and potential solutions, including whether consumers are being steered toward more costly currency conversion options at check-out.

Of the non-Euro countries in the EU, only Sweden chose to follow Eurozone countries by ensuring its banks and other payment service providers charge the same for cross-border and domestic funds transfers involving Swedish Krona. The other non-Euro countries have allowed "very high" charges for non-Euro cross-border transfers. 

The Commission wants to cut those charges and help consumers choose the best conversion rate when offered the chance to pay in a different currency at check-out.  

Remittance costs must also come down to less than 3% to meet UN Sustainable Development Goals.

The Commission's first step is collecting the views of consumers and industry experts on awareness of high fees and potential solutions. It also wants to know whether consumers are being steered toward more costly currency conversion options at check-out; and how long it might take for real-time exchange rates and price quotes to be introduced.

"British consumers are very pleased to be ripped off when making payments abroad, and are jolly well thankful that our banks and other financial institutions are free to make as much money as possible at their expense. They can't wait to be rid of all this EU meddling in our affairs," a Tory spokesperson probably said.

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