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EC proposes lower cross-border fees across bloc

The European Commission on March 28 mapped out legislative proposals that would see banks across the European Union reduce fees on cross-border transactions in euros and on certain currency conversions.

Consumers and businesses in the eurozone already benefit from low fees for transnational payments in euros due to the introduction of the cross-border payments regulation in 2001. The recent proposals are meant to extend this benefit to individuals and businesses in non-euro EU member states, such as Denmark and the Czech Republic.

The proposals, which are due to be submitted to the European Parliament and Council for adoption, also require service providers to fully inform consumers about the cost of transactions involving currency conversions. The EU executive arm noted that recent findings show consumers have been complaining about dynamic currency conversion practices, including paying abroad in their home currency.

"All Europeans will be able to transfer money cross-border, in euro, at the same cost as they would pay for a domestic transaction," said Valdis Dombrovskis, the vice president responsible for financial stability, financial services and capital markets union.