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19.04.2018 09:55 Age: 211 days
Category: News

EC proposal on cheaper euro transactions and fairer currency conversions step in right direction

Late March the EC published its proposal for cheaper euro transaction costs and fairer currency conversions within the Union. The proposal will considerably reduce fees on transactions, extending the current euro-area regime to non-euro countries, as well as limit currency conversions abroad. While in the past an euro-area consumer could end up transferring a total of €24 on an original €10 transfer to a Bulgarian bank account, the EC proposal reduces the transaction fee to a few cents – if indeed any.

Following studies from Norway, Germany and the UK that found consumers systematically on the losing end of dynamic currency conversions, consumers abroad wanting to pay in their national currency instead of the local currency will no longer be subject to scams and can now look forward to fairer currency conversions. Welcoming the proposal, BEUC`s Monique Goyens applauded the EC action stating that: “it is high time that the opacity surrounding this practice is lifted”.

Though the proposal was well received by consumers upon its release, the continuing exemption of transactions to third-countries leave migrant families living in Europe susceptible to losses. These costs amount to around €3.6 Billion, in “unjustified” extra charges per year, states Senior Researcher for Finance Watch Olivier Jerulsalmy in a recent Euractive article.

While important work remains to be done, the EC proposal is a step in the right direction to tackle inequality of treatment and lack of transparency. To read the full press release, please see here.


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