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EU action plan for consumer financial services may strengthen trust in the single market / Equal rules for all providers needed

The Commission's action plan examines fees for cross-border payments involving EU currencies other than the euro. However, there is already a great deal of transparency in this area for consumers. The prices form as a result of competition in the market. The four associations are therefore against regulatory intervention in the price formation process. These prices include the cost of the transaction and the related charges for the currency conversion. The latter are based on the rate at which a currency is acquired on the selected currency market. This entails higher costs than for euro-denominated national and cross-border payments within the EU. Banks and savings banks in Germany already provide information on the charges for payments processing transactions in the tried-and-tested format of lists of charges and services, which can be accessed by all customers. The banks also publish the exchange rates used to convert foreign currencies on a daily basis. 

In the context of digitalization and innovation in financial products, it must be ensured that all providers of financial services – including fintechs – are bound by the same regulatory requirements as banks. This particularly applies to consumer protection. This creates a level playing field and avoids distortion of competition between the different providers.

The four associations support the European Commission's intention to review the current rules on pre-contractual disclosure in order to make them suitable for digital financial products. The associations believe it is particularly important to avoid duplication. The rules, when combined, should not result in an obligation to disclose the same information several times, for example because the same requirements can be found in legislation on consumer lending and laws on electronic transactions. If the plethora of information that has to be provided about financial products were to be scaled back, they might be easier to understand. After all, more information does not automatically lead to greater clarity. At the same time, the simplifications and exemptions offered in many areas must apply to all distribution channels in equal measure.

Press contacts

Melanie Schmergal | National Association of German Cooperative Banks (BVR)
Press spokesperson | Tel: +49 (0)30 2021 1300 | Email:

Michaela Roth | German Savings Banks Association (DSGV)
Press spokesperson | Tel: +32 (0)2 7401 643 | Email:

Dominik Lamminger | Association of German Public Banks (VÖB)
Press spokesperson | Tel: +49 (0)30 8192 162 | Email:

Dr. Helga Bender | Association of German Pfandbrief Banks (vdp)
Press spokesperson | Tel: +49 (0)30 2091 5330 | Email:

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Bundesverband der deutschen Volksbanken und Raiffeisenbanken e.V. (BVR)
Bundesverband der deutschen Volksbanken und Raiffeisenbanken e.V. (BVR)
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BVR - Mar 23, 2017, 1:04:09 PM


EU action plan for consumer financial services may strengthen trust in the single market / Equal rules for all providers needed

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