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Cheaper bank transfers beckon for EU customers

27/06/2003 15:47
European bank clients can look forward to lower charges from July 1 thanks to new EU rules slashing the cost of cross-border transfers made in euros, officials said on Thursday.
From next Tuesday banks will be forced to charge the same for cross-border euro transfers within the European Union as they do for domestic transfers.

The new regulation will lead to an average 24 euros being cut from a 100 euro transfer from one EU country to another, the European Commission said.

The regulation will bring intra-EU bank transfers into line with withdrawals from automated teller machines.

Since July 2002 banks have not been allowed to charge customers any more for withdrawing euros from a cash machine in another EU country than they would incur at home.

"The advantages of the single currency should benefit everyone: that is the aim of the regulation," Commission president Romano Prodi said.

"With the creation of the single payments area, the benefits of European integration can be seen in daily life," he said.

The regulation will apply to transfers of up to 12,500 euros.

Customers must provide their bank with the beneficiary's IBAN (International Bank Account Number) and BIC (Bank Identifier Code), which from July 1 must appear on bank statements in the EU.