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SEPA Direct Debits will only be a success with interchange


11 May 2011


Euro & Finance
EU Priorities 2020

ESBG objects to the European Commission’s proposal to ban interchange fees for direct debit transactions in the migration to SEPA. Without interchange fees, debtor banks (who process the direct debits in favour of the creditors) would provide a service without being able to obtain remuneration neither from creditor banks, nor from debtors (the customers making payments to their creditors).



The European savings and retail banks propose an approach to SEPA Direct Debit interchange which responds to all the objections raised by the Commission. This approach builds on the compromise elaborated by the European Parliament and allows banks to individually opt for a higher yet still capped interchange, provided the latter is cost-based, made public, and that the debtor is not charged for the same transaction.



“Our proposal ticks all the boxes from a competition legislation perspective”, said ESBG Managing Director Chris De Noose, “in addition it prevents any impact on consumers, and it motivates the supply side to continue and innovate”.




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Notes to Editors:



Press Contacts:

Dirk Smet, Tel: +32 2 211 11 90




About ESBG:

The European Savings Banks Group (ESBG) is an international banking association which represents one of the largest European retail banking networks, comprising about one third of the retail banking market in Europe, with total assets of almost €6,000 billion (January 2009). It represents the interests of its members vis-à-vis the EU Institutions and generates, facilitates and manages high quality cross-border banking projects.



ESBG members are typically savings and retail banks or associations thereof. They are often organised in decentralised networks and offer their services throughout their region. ESBG member banks have been reinvesting responsibly in their region for many decades and they are a distinct benchmark for corporate social responsibility activities throughout Europe and the world.



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