CITIZENS across the 15-nation European Union from July 1 will pay the same fees for sending euros between bank accounts, whether at home or across EU borders, the European Commission said yesterday. Commission estimates show that, despite the introduction of the euro and the advent of electronic payment systems, customers on average are charged 17.60 euros to transfer 100 euros across EU countries. This contrasts with modest or non-existent bank fees for national transfers.
A new EU rule will forbid banks from charging more for euro payments of up to 12'500 euros within the EU than for domestic payments.
From January 1, 2006 the same rule will apply to payments of up to 50'000 euros.
But banks could raise the cost of domestic transfers to recoup any earnings lost. “I am convinced certain banks will use this regulation as an excuse to increase certain charges,” said Jean Allix, a Commission administrator who has worked on the dossier. It will mainly be up to customers to police banks and report suspected abuses to consumer associations, the Commission said.

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