Regulation (EC) No 2560/2001 on cross-border payments in euro

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Series Details L 344, Pages 13-16
Publication Date 28/12/2001
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Regulation (EC) No 2560/2001 - adopted by the European Union on 19 December 2001 - laying down rules on cross-border payments in euro in order to ensure that charges for those payments are the same as those for payments in euro within a Member State.

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This Regulation applies to cross-border electronic payments in Euro currency up to €50,000 within the European Union, and does not apply to cross-border payments made between institutions for their own account. The legislation was adopted following the introduction of the single currency.

The proposal by the European Commission - adopted on 25 July 2001 - sought to establish the principle of non-discrimination between charges for domestic and cross border payments rather than regulating prices and forcing banks to set similar charges. It was adopted by the European Parliament and Council of the European Union, after two readings on 19 December 2001. The Regulation then became of the fastest legislative instruments to ever be adopted by the co-decision procedure, taking only six months. It entered into force on 1 July 2002, ensuring that citizens should pay no more to withdraw euros from cash machines or make card payments in euros in other EU Member States than they pay for the same services in their own country. The Regulation could not be made to apply immediately because of the need to modify tariffs and computer systems and all the banks were already focusing their efforts on the task of introducing Euro notes and coins. The six month deferral was given to provide banks with the time to put the necessary mechanisms in place.

The Regulation also covers payments in non-euro currencies if the Member States where those currencies are used notify the Commission that they want the rules to apply. The Swedish Government announced on 12 June 2002 that it wished to apply the Regulation for Swedish krona. A further provision of the Regulation entered into force on 1 July 2003 when the same principle of equality between charges for national and cross-border transactions in euros apply to credit transfers between bank accounts. Banks should also find it easier to deal with cross-border transactions from July 2003 when the use of ISO (International Standards Organisation) standard codes, allowed banks to process credit transfers in a fully automated way.

This piece of legislation was eventually repealed by Regulation (EC) No 924/2009.

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Commentary and Analysis
Banking Federation of the European Union: Press Release, 27/07/2001: FBE dismisses proposed Regulation on cross border payments
Banking Federation of the European Union: Press Release, 27/11/2001: FBE regrets the decision of the Internal Market Council to regulate prices for cross-border banking services

European Voice, 18/07/2001: Bankers’ fury at interference over cross-border fees (via Politico)
European Voice, 17/10/2001: Bankers scramble to find new euro-transfer fee deal (via Politico)
European Voice, 24/10/2001: Reynders calls for urgent reform to payment system (via Politico)
European Voice, 26/06/2002: Cross-border charge laws will ‘not benefit’ customer

EUR-Lex: COM(2001)439: Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on cross-border payments in euro
European Parliament: Legislative Observatory: Procedure File for Proposal on Cross-border payments in euro: reducing bank charges
European Commission: Press Release, 25/07/2001: Commission proposes principle of equality of charges for domestic payments and cross-border payments in euros
European Commission: Memo, 25/07/2001: Draft Regulation on cross-border payments in euros - Frequently asked questions
European Commission: Press Release, 15/11/2001: Commission welcomes Parliament's support for proposal on cross-border payments in euros
European Commission: Press Release, 27/11/2001: Commission welcomes Council's political agreement on cross-border payments proposal
European Commission: Press Release, 13/12/2001: Commission welcomes swift adoption of Regulation preventing excessive charges for cross-border payments
European Commission: Press Release, 27/06/2002: New EU rules mean cheaper cash withdrawals and bank card payments abroad

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