The EU Parliament has voted in favour of new legislations which will enforce the reduction of bank charges on cross-border euro payments between countries in and out of the eurozone. 

During the assembly held to discuss implementing the changes before the end of the year, 532 votes were found in favour, 22 against and 55 abstained from voting at all. 

Under the new regulations, consumers will also be exempt from paying arbitrary fees for currency exchanges. They will also be informed, during every transaction, of the amount to be paid both in the local currency and in the currency of the account from which the payment is originating. 

The appropriate currency conversion fees will be sent to consumers via electronic push notifications such as text message, e-mail or notification through the user’s mobile or online banking application. 

The new rules stipulate that the notification services be offered without any charges, and that banks will also be required to reveal the estimated full cost of currency exchange in case of bank transfers being done prior to the payment being effected.

“150 million EU citizens and 6 million business living and operating in countries outside the Eurozone have been paying much higher charges for transferring euro than their Eurozone counterparts. This will no longer be the case and all Europeans will pay significantly lower charges, which will save them more than 1 billion euro annually. This is the second, small EU revolution after the abolishment of roaming fees,” says Eva Maydell (EPP, BG), EU representative. 

“It is a huge step forward to completing the Single Market for payments, putting Eurozone and non-Eurozone business on a level playing field.”