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Uruguay's banking sector warns credit card bill could be unconstitutional

ABPU, the Uruguayan association of private banks, warned that the bill on regulation for credit card commissions currently being studied by the Finance Committee of the Chamber of Deputies could violate the country's constitution, according to a report in El Observador.

The banking association said the bill, which would put a 2% limit on credit card commissions and 1% limit on the same fees for debit cards, violates article 133 of the Uruguayan constitution, arguing that such a move would have to be initiated by the executive branch of the government as it determines fixing of prices.

The bill is a part of a wider legislation package for financial inclusion.

ABPU director Jorge Ottavianelli reportedly said Uruguay has the most expensive operating costs in the region and one of the highest in the world in terms of banking and therefore the banking sector needed to keep the commission at current levels.

Argentina recently launched similar regulation on card commission fee limits, which Uruguay wants to emulate, El Observador noted.