House of Lords written question – answered on 27th March 2007.

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Photo of Lord Dykes Lord Dykes Spokesperson in the Lords (Europe), Foreign & Commonwealth Affairs, Spokesperson in the Lords (Cap Reform), Environment, Food & Rural Affairs

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether they will make an assessment of the extent to which United Kingdom commercial banks are assisting ordinary customers by adherence to the European Union regulation that cross-border transactions should be treated as transactions within the single market and not as payments abroad, as they were treated before 1 January 2007.

Photo of Lord Davies of Oldham Lord Davies of Oldham Deputy Chief Whip (House of Lords), HM Household, Captain of the Queen's Bodyguard of the Yeomen of the Guard (HM Household) (Deputy Chief Whip, House of Lords)

Regulation (EC) No 2560/2001 on cross-border payments in euros eliminates the difference of price between cross-border euro and national euro payments. This regulation has little practical impact in the UK given that the UK has chosen not to join the euro. In addition, the UK has chosen not to apply this regulation to sterling.

Currently, the UK banking industry is working closely with the European Payments Council to create a Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA). This should enable cross-border euro payments, such as credit transfers, direct debits and card transactions to be made more cheaply, easily and efficiently.

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