Feeds

back to article Euro banks unhappy with proposed e-payment rules

The European Payment Council has taken issue with a number of the European Commission's proposals to try to make direct debits and credit transfers across the continent easier and cheaper. The council, which is a group of European banks and financial institutions helping to standardise e-payments, is unhappy with the changes to …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.
FAIL

These people are hilarious

"Self-regulation by banks in the past 30 years has created and maintained effective, secure and stress-resistant payment systems."

Excuse me while I laugh myself to death.

22
0

If the banks had their way..

Death would be no excuse for defaulting on payments

1
0
Silver badge
Meh

Interchange Circle Jerk

There is really no reason for interchange fees when using a common currency inside a defined trade area. It is just another way for banks to screw the customer & keep giving themselves handjobs lubricated with greasy money. Bastards.

6
0
Anonymous Coward

So...

Payment transfers should be free? In which case all of the other customers of the bank pay for the systems, processes, procedures staff and software required to move your money from A to B.

Personally, I would prefer not to pay for your money transfer, or everyone else's, but to pay for mine as I need them.

Very much like taking money out of foreign ATMs, I want a fair charge to be levied on me for this service, as I don't use it that otfen. I don't want everyone to pay for the service, especially those who don't use it.

0
6

But you aren't physically moving anything, it's 1's and 0's

Yes there is some element of processing, but I would imagine the economies of scale should bring that down to fractions of a pence. Perhaps a fair comparison would be the per transaction fee's levied at a Stock Exchange?

2
0
Anonymous Coward

@David Neil

No, sorry, but financial services IT is very, very expensive. There is the bespoke software, the high uptime, the interfacing of heterogeneous systems, the redundant datalinks, the storage and backup, the ongoing support costs, etc. etc. It's all very, very expensive.

0
0
Silver badge

Re: So...

Banks make money lending what we have deposited at a much greater rate of interest than they give us for what we have loaned them.

Does money you have in any deposit account even keep up with inflation? Do interest rates charged by banks enusre they don't lose? If you bank rolled a gambler at least you'd have a chance of getting your money back and more, with a bank your money always devalues.

Even given these points you seem to think banks are justified in charging you for services you are already paying for even if you don't use them.

Next time you pay money into the bank write them a letter explaining that their account is now overdrawn by whatever amount and charge them for the letter. See what their reaction would be.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Who's gonna pay?

Inside europe the rule already is that intra-europe transfers may cost no more than intra-national transfers, at least for consumers, which is often enough free already, at least in civilised countries.

This is supposed to "lower costs" in countries with shoddy and inefficient banking systems like Italy and Greece* but since there's all sorts of changes it's going to actually raise costs where the system is fairly efficient already. And that'd be north-western europe, yes, well spotted.

On a tin foil-hatted note, one of the changes, possibly from this or maybe from the bankers, is upping the account number to 18 digits in length, I kid you not, with the express notion of eventually taking over the world. Waitaminute, 18, that's three times six, innit? Why yes, yes it is.

Now I'm not all that superstitious, not more and maybe a bit less than the next bloke, but this sort of change gives me the creeps even if the number of the beast invokement is purely coincidental, honest.

Besides, we already have a reasonable system** that would scale out for quite a bit and if that wasn't enough to induce the inefficient banking systems to get their act together and their house in order, what's to say this will? I don't believe it.

On another note, I wish they'd come up with something less prone to abuse as direct debit. It is in essence saying "trust those random merchants that give us orders to dish out monies from your account, for you trust us already", which coupled with refusing mandatory checks is of course not that very trust inspiring.

* Just kick the lying and peculating scum out of the euro and job done. How hard can it be Sheesh.

** As much as you can expect from /bankers/ and their tame "too expensive to write good code" programmers, anyway.

0
3
Silver badge
FAIL

It seems you don't understand IBAN numbers

They are not 18 characters long, they are 4 plus whatever a national regulator chooses. The first two letters identify the country, the next two are a checksum and the remainder are a national account identifier. In the UK it's GBXX followed by a four character bank ID, 6 digit sort code and an 8 digit account number. Not hard to work out and not trying to take over the world.

1
0
Anonymous Coward

Optional

The Netherlands had the announcement months ago that they were moving up to 18 digit "universal" account numbers, end of this year, with a strong implication this would be done all over Europe (and eventually the world). Maybe just a poor choice by currence, which isn't strictly a regulator, then, and shame on me for not double-checking.

Anyway, 22-character bank account numbers are just that much longer. Besides noting that it's letters AND numbers, which usually means you can shorten the code a bit. Do you really need to accomodate for 456976 banks with a million branches each? Even the Dutch take is overkill, as the new way reserves two positions for checksums AND four positions for the bank AND 10 digits for account numbers where currently there is a national system encompassing all banks (except the formerly state-owned postbank) in place that appears to do just fine with nine digits indicating bank, branch where the account was opened, account number, and one checksum digit. I think making the bloody thing that much longer is going to create more trouble, checksum digits notwithstanding. They're checksums, not ecc.

Makes me think of those 00000000000000000000000000xxxxxxx customer numbers that were all the rage back when automation was the hot new buzzword and giro (postbank) bank transfers went through the mail in the form of an actual punched card. (You could send each other short messages for a cent each by transfering that much and put say an invitation for drinkies in the description, until they put a minimum on it to curb their postage losses.)

Relatedly, the associated sites do talk a lot about "IBAN number" and "BIC code". How annoying. I may not understand it but I can see that it'll have trouble working properly. Business as usual in banking IT then.

1
1
FAIL

"...shoddy and inefficient banking systems like Italy..."

You, er, might want to do some research on that. The world's oldest bank is Italian: "Monte dei Paschi di Siena" (est. 1472.) Italy's economy is actually pretty big: unlike Greece, Italy is a member of the G8!

Mr. Silvio Berlusconi and his travelling circus do try and hide those inconvenient facts by upholding good, traditional Italian values of lying very badly while womanising, but don't let his diversionary antics fool you: the Italian central government has a lot less power than the foreign media thinks it does. Most of the actual _work_ in Italian government is devolved to the regions. (If it weren't, nothing would ever get done!)

Italian retail banking bears much more resemblance to the old, regional Building Societies of the UK, pre-deregulation. Italian banks are generally focused on local and regional economies, helping them grow and keeping things on an even keel.

I know this first-hand, because I've just spent half the week translating an Italian regional bank's annual report into English. I've seen their data. For all the money that flows through their systems, their profits aren't as great as you'd think. (I'm talking seven digits, not billions.) Italian retail banking is pretty well segregated from the global casino style investment banking. And said bank invested a hell of a lot of money in local communities and businesses. Rather more money than it actually made in profits.

Why? Because said bank is run as a _cooperative_. It's effectively owned by the communities it serves. (Italians are very community-driven in exactly the same way Britons aren't.)

The same cannot be said for the UK's financial sector, which shoulders much of the blame for the recent global financial clusterfuck. Not just because of the insane amounts of risk it took on without bothering to understand what that risk actually entailed, but also because it was *British* accountancy firms who came up with many of these idiotic schemes in the first place. (Oh, and let's not mention the likes of WorldCom and Enron, both of which were also brought down by—you guessed it!—British accountancy firms!)

Guess where those Virgin-branded trains currently plying the West Coast Main Line were made?

Which country still has not one, but *multiple* successful car manufacturers, like FIAT (who also own Lamborghini, Lancia and Alfa-Romeo), Ferrari, Maserati, Pagani, and so on.

Which country also has a massive fashion industry?

Which country still has a shipbuilding industry? (Hint: Cunard's new Queen Elizabeth and Queen Victoria were built at Fincantieri.)

Which country INVENTED banking as we know it? (Hint: see my opening line.)

What industries do the people of the UK have to fall back on? Shelf-stacking? Sequels to tired computer game franchises? Call-centres? Scottish shortbread biscuits? What? What the fuck does the UK actually *do* that isn't somehow related to either the media, or finance?

Your British politicians have their "lying and peculating" schtick nailed. And what's even more impressive is how little the British people seem to care.

Sheesh!

3
2
Silver badge
Stop

Compact account numbers are NOT a good thing

Customers can and do enter the wrong details. The check digits and extra info are there to prevent money from being delivered to the wrong account by mistake (where it may be hard to recover). Being able to crosscheck parts of the number (bank ID and sort code for example) further reduces risk.

The Dutch system is pretty much just adding NLXX in front of what they already had. They may have allocated 10 digits for account number, but the bank needs to identify the branch and type of account from that, plus they normally include at least one check digit of their own.

1
0

Actually Lamborghini is now owned by Volkswagen Group (who own VW, Audi, and I believe Seat too).

Ferarri (and Maserati) are owned by FIAT.

Rob

0
0
WTF?

Can't happen quickly enough

Every time in the last 20 years I've tried to send money abroad it's been the same story. Trek down to a branch during "working" hours, stand in a queue, show ID, pay through the nose, and prepare for staff who look at you like you're asking them to send their own pet hamster to the moon by catapult. Woe betide you if you don't have the correct IBAN or SWIFT. Not that they bother to tell you your own IBAN on your statements or the web so you can hand it out to your fellow europeans on request.

Oh, and it still takes the same time (a week or so) and costs the same (30 quid or so) that it did in 1995. Is it any wonder we're selling our souls to PayPal?

4
1
Silver badge

Strange

'Cos I can go online with my ( mainstream UK ) bank and send money to my Swiss current account with a few clicks and a £10 fee. I've used it for other transactions too.

1
0

Strange II

I'd change banks if IBANs are important to you. I know for a fact that first direct and RBS both print the IBAN number on your statements by default.

Also, last time I made an international payment (a couple of years ago now) it cost £14.

You're definitely with the wrong bank.

1
0
Silver badge
Stop

And also

Your IBAN number has, by law, been printed on your bank statements since about.2002. It must have been quite hard to miss.

Until the ECB wants to set up a low value clearing system international payments need to be sent as individual SWIFT transactions that cost your bank about £10 each anyway, so you can see why they are not keen.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

And also II

The banks could recoup any cost be passing it on to the Amercians as a processing fee for sending them the details of the transaction.

0
1
Pint

Name and proclaim

Which bank? Not possible at RBS

0
0
Anonymous Coward

@Max

Get a better bank then.

Oh, and PayPal are part of the EU payments providers.

0
0
Alert

bail out..

Commission to banks;

" so you don't want that 100bn euros we are stumping up for your liquidity " ... "oh you do, then f****** well do what we say ".

I know in real life that will not happen and the commission will roll over and hand over our cash and let the banks screw us all on the modernisation of money movements around europe.... as usual.

Separately, their argument about basing on what people will pay is a little misreprentative, since they have an effective monopoly on the process so what we will pay is whatever they charge.

2
0

I will repeat this wonderful piece of fluff:

"Self-regulation by banks in the past 30 years has created and maintained effective, secure and stress-resistant payment systems."

Effective, secure, and stress-resistant. Am I missing... "cost-effective", in terms of "cost-effectiveness for the punter"?

Nosir, the self-f-regulation above is not about saving YOU YOUR money, it's about milking you in the most cost-effective (to them) way. But hey, the writing's on the wall with SEPA. When, in the past, I had to pay dearly to send and _to receive_ money from various countries, now I pay 1 EUR, give or take, and wait no longer than 24 hours for the transfer to be completed. No, not when a GBP account is involved, then I'd wait a good few days, pay to send money, pay to receive, pay to convert from GBP to EUR and back to the third currency... (all the the oh-so-special convertion rates) - and think of England.

that said, if the euro as a currency is going down like a piece of a German satellite, SEPA might be soon dead too. Just this once when the eurocrats have created something useful for a man on the street :(

0
0
Silver badge
WTF?

The Wunch are at it again

"Self-regulation by banks in the past 30 years has created and maintained effective, secure and stress-resistant payment systems."

This would be the self-regulation that has trashed the world economy because the banks put greed above all other considerations?

"The banks are also opposed to mandatory checks on direct debits"

Anyone anywhere in Europe can put a DD on my account with no checks whatever, and it's then up to me to sort it out? What could possibly go wrong?

3
0
Anonymous Coward

@Christoph

Err... It was the massive failure of effective regulation caused by the Labour government that caused the meltdown in the UK. There was regulation, it was just piss-poor, the banks did what they were explicitly allowed and encouraged to do. Gordon Brown said: "I want to encourage the risk takers in the City."

As for Direct Debit - yes one can be seutp on your account, but there is the Direct Debit guarantee, which says that you just tell them that a mistake has been made and they have to undo what has been done.

2
2
Megaphone

@AC - DD guarantee

Yeh. Its just so simple and easy. No bother at all really.

Well, it is until..........

You first have to notice something wrong. Hands up those who know what date every DD is due to come out and exactly how much. Last time I had a problem, I just happened to realise that this was the second DD for my annual TV licence within 6 months, otherwise.......

Then you have to persuade the bank that they HAVE to give you your money back. Had to insist on seeing the bank manager with a DD leaflet that said so before they relented.

Fortunatly did not happen to me, but I know someone who went into debt because of an eroneous DD. Like to guess how long, how many letters and how many hours spent at the bank before he got the DD money back and all the charges reversed?

3
0
Anonymous Coward

Except...

He got his money back.

0
2
Bronze badge
Pirate

Thing is, there is also something very similar to a direct debit, where only the originating company can cancel it. Total bugger to sort that one out.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

@The first dave

You're talking about standing orders, or repeating orders, both of which can be canceled by your bank. If the worst comes to the worst, report your card lost or damaged and a new card - with a new number - is issued, this prevents pre-existing orders from completing.

0
0
Silver badge
Holmes

Seriously?

"Self-regulation by banks in the past 30 years has created and maintained effective, secure and stress-resistant payment systems."

Lack of external regulation of banking systems is pretty much what has screwed over global financial systems in the last decade.

2
0
Bronze badge
WTF?

Fees and charges

they're for your own good, you know....

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Why would a bank be free?

See title.

0
0
WTF?

SEPA ?

That'll be the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency, actually.

Single Euro Payments Area (!SEPA) had better watch out for the IP infringement action.

2
1
Mushroom

ARGH!

EU Politicos want it, so it must be bad.

Banks don't want it, so it must be good.

My brain!

1
0
This topic is closed for new posts.