Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Opposing unnecessary bank fees

Last fall the European Parliament called for further harmonisation of cross-border payments, especially with regards to increasing transparency of bank fees and removing the unnecessary ones (see: European fees for card payments?). The European Commission just opened investigations into practices of MasterCard and Visa with regards to inter-bank fees, trying to establish whether they do not harm competition in the internal market (see also: Inflated Visa fees ultimately paid by consumers?). Since EU consumers pay for more than 40% of their non-cash purchases per year with a credit card, it is important that they are not unnecessarily charged on that basis. Such extra costs could result from the fact that EU traders are obliged to pay extra inter-bank fees and then pass these costs on consumers. The antitrust proceedings are likely to take some time, but the European Commission announced that it intends also to present a regulation on inter-bank fees for card payments before this summer. (Commission opens investigation into MasterCard inter-bank fees)

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