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Financial services & capital markets > Retail financial markets and payment services (SEPA)

SEPA: Single Euro Payments Area
Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) becomes fully operational in all Eurozone countries as per tomorrow 1 August 2014

31/07/2014

The Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) creates a true European Single Market for retail payments in euro where transfers, direct debits and payments between Member States are as easy and fast as the equivalent domestic transactions. It will become fully operational in all eurozone countries on 1st August 2014.

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Michel Barnier
The right to a basic bank account for all European citizens: Commission welcomes Council adoption

23/07/2014

The Directive will foster the creation of a real single market for retail financial services bringing numerous benefits to EU citizens by providing them with a right to a basic payment account irrespective of their place of residence or financial situation.

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Small plant growing out of a bunch of euro coins
Greater protection for retail investors: Commission welcomes European Parliament adoption of strengthened European rules on UCITS

15/04/2014

"With this vote, we have taken another important step towards making financial products safer and re-establishing investor confidence, a pre-requisite for investment and economic growth in Europe". Statement by Commissioner Barnier.

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Small plant growing from a small bunch of euro coins, and hand adding one more coin
The right investment to suit your needs: basic information leaflet will help retail investors make the right choice

15/04/2014

"European consumers need a clear and understandable explanation on how they invest their savings. […] The broad coverage of the Key Information Document aims to ensure that […] the consumer can compare different investment proposals". Statement by Commissioner Barnier.

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Hand about to drag the magnetic stripe of a credit card in a cash register
European Parliament adopts the Directive on payment accounts

15/04/2014

"With these new rules we intend to make a real difference in the lives of millions of EU citizens. Improving the transparency and comparability of fees in the payment accounts [...] will enable consumers to benefit from better offers and lower costs for their payment accounts. Universal access to basic payment accounts will encourage more people to profit from the new opportunities which derive from them". Statement by Commissioner Barnier

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Michel Barnier
European Parliament and Council back Commission’s proposal on a Key Information Document covering retail investments

01/04/2014

"European consumers need a clear and understandable explanation on how they invest their savings. […] The broad coverage of the Key Information Document aims to ensure that […] the consumer can compare different investment proposals". Statement by Commissioner Barnier.

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European Parliament and Council back Commission’s proposal on a Key Information Document covering retail investments

01/04/2014

"European consumers need a clear and understandable explanation on how they invest their savings. […] The broad coverage of the Key Information Document aims to ensure that […] the consumer can compare different investment proposals". Statement by Commissioner Barnier.

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SEPA logo
Commissioner Barnier welcomes the European Parliament vote on a transition period of 6 month for the migration towards SEPA

04/02/2014

"This transition period ensures that the smooth processing of payments for consumers and businesses will not be disturbed. The migration to SEPA credit transfers and SEPA direct debits is an important milestone in the completion of a European integrated payments market". Statement by Commissioner Barnier.

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SEPA: Single Euro Payments Area
Deadline for SEPA migration: Commission introduces an additional transition period of six months (until 01.08.2014)

09/01/2014

The Commission has adopted a proposal to give an extra transition period of six months during which payments which differ from the SEPA format can still be accepted so as to ensure minimal disruption for consumers and businesses. The proposal does not change the formal deadline for migration 1 February 2014.

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Two hands surround and protect a house made of 500 euros notes
Commissioner Barnier welcomes the European Parliament’s adoption of new rules on mortgages

10/12/2013

The European Parliament confirmed today its willingness to make the mortgage credit sector subject to heightened consumer protection measures at EU level by approving the new rules on mortgage credit lending.

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Retail payments: a lever for inclusive and innovative growth in Europe
Retail payments: a lever for inclusive and innovative growth in Europe

21/10/2013

"Retail payments are not simply a technical issue. Instead, they form an important lever for our response to the crisis." Speech by Commissioner Barnier at the joint conference ECB – Banque de France.

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Two hands surround and protect a house made of 500 euros notes
European Parliament confirms its willingness to make the mortgage credit sector subject to heightened consumer protection measures

10/09/2013

“I welcome this important step towards strengthening consumer protection in the financial services area and towards completion of the Single Market. I hope that the European Parliament and the Council will now finalise the text as soon as possible so that the new rules will benefit consumers without delay”. Statement by Commissioner Barnier.

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Hand about to drag the magnetic stripe of a credit card in a cash register
The Commission adopts new rules on Payment Services for the benefit of consumers and retailers

24/07/2013

In order to adapt EU payments market to the opportunities of the single market and to support the growth of the EU economy, the European Commission adopted today a package including a new payment Services Directive (“PSD2”) and a proposal for regulation of interchange fees for card-based payment transactions. “Today, the payment market in the EU is fragmented and expensive (...) These are costs our economy cannot afford. Our proposal will promote the digital single market by making internet payments cheaper and safer, both for retailers and consumers” Commissioner Barnier said.

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Floating pile of rubbish in an oil slick
Commission acts to make bank accounts cheaper, more transparent and accessible to all

08/05/2013

The proposal for a directive presented today by the Commission will finally give all European citizens access to a basic bank account. By making it easier to compare fees and change bank accounts, we also hope to see better offers from banks and lower costs.

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Michel Barnier
Statement by Commissioner Barnier following the agreement in trilogue on the Mortgages Directive

22/04/2013

“The financial crisis started with the subprime debacle in the United States. (...) We have seen similar excesses in Europe, for example with the housing booms and the inevitable busts which followed in Spain and Ireland. (...) This Directive will help put an end to these excesses and foster responsible lending practices“.

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Internet payments
Towards a real single market for card, internet and mobile payments

04/05/2012

"Our goal should not be to have a homogenous European payments market. National specificities are often based on the habits and preferences of consumers which we must respect. That said, consumers will only reap the benefits of electronic and mobile commerce if their purchases – and therefore their payments – abroad are made as easily as in their own country." Speech by Commissioner Barnier at the Conference on card, internet and mobile payments.

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Internet payments
Consultation: Breaking down barriers to secure and innovative card, internet and mobile payments

11/01/2012

The way European citizens shop and pay is radically changing. A secure and transparent integrated payments environment throughout the EU could create more efficient, modern and safer means of payments. Based on the Green Paper adopted today, the Commission seeks the views of stakeholders as to which obstacles hinder further market integration and how these could be resolved. The deadline for submitting contributions is 11 April 2012.

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SEPA
Commissioner Michel Barnier welcomes agreement by Council and Parliament establishing SEPA migration end-dates

20/12/2011

"Today's agreement by the European Parliament and the Council represents a significant step towards a truly integrated market for electronic retail payments in euro". Statement by Commissioner Barnier.

 

 

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Commissioner Barnier
A week with Commissioner Barnier: interview on consumer rights

09/12/2011

Video interview with Commissioner Barnier on consumer rights (bank account statements, access to basic bank accounts, e-commerce). viEUws.

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Payment services
Financial services: Commission wants more consumers and other payment users to serve on the board of Expert Group on payments

08/09/2011

The European Commission is re-casting membership of the group of experts which helps in the preparation of legislative acts or policy initiatives in the area of payment systems. The aim is to achieve a better balance between payment server users and providers, and to increase the participation of consumer representatives and civil society. Interested candidates are invited to send an application to the Commission by 7 October 2011.

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Bank accounts
Commission recommends access to basic and affordable bank accounts for all citizens

18/07/2011

Today's Recommendation from the European Commission on access to a basic payment account will promote financial and social inclusion for consumers across Europe.

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Mortgages: better protection for European consumers
Mortgages: better protection for European consumers

31/03/2011

The financial crisis has shown the damage that irresponsible lending and borrowing practices can have on consumers and lenders, as well as the financial system and the economy at large. The draft set of rules presented today by the European Commission is designed to ensure a high standard of pre-contractual information and improved lending practices across Europe, while promoting a dynamic, competitive and more integrated Single Market for mortgage credit.

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EU flags
Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA): Commission sets deadline for pan-European payment system

16/12/2010

The European Commission has today proposed to set EU-wide end-dates for the migration of the old national credit transfers and direct debits to the recently created Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) instruments. It will mean that national credit transfers and direct debits are phased out and the recently created pan-European systems take their place, respectively 12 and 24 months after the entry into force of the Regulation...

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E-invoicing
European Commission wants broad-scale adoption of e-invoicing by 2020

02/12/2010

Currently, exchanging electronic invoices (e-invoicing) is often complex and costly, in particular across borders and for SMEs. In its Communication 'Reaping the benefits of electronic invoicing for Europe', presented by Vice-President Tajani and Commissioner Barnier today, the European Commission identifies a set of tangible actions to make the uptake of e-invoices in Europe easier. This will allow businesses to benefit from shorter payment delays, fewer errors, reduced printing and postage costs.

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Michel Barnier
Defending retail banking in order to defend consumers

02/12/2010

"I am aware of the concerns by banks about the high costs and the considerable efforts needed to implement reforms in the financial sector. However, they are absolutely necessary if we want to show to Europeans that, in the financial field as well as elsewhere, the Single Market is made for them". Speech by Commissioner Barnier at the conference "EU Retail banking - getting reform right"

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The financial system reform and what is at stake
The financial system reform and what is at stake

25/11/2010

On the occasion of the Conference "Payfair" on bank cards and payment methods, Commissioner Barnier called for a pan-European bank card and stressed the need to put the financial sector at the service of European citizens.

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Commission launches public consultation on access to a basic payment account

06/10/2010

The services of the European Commission have launched a public consultation to seek stakeholders' views on possible measures to be taken to ensure access to a basic payment account for every consumer in the EU.

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SEPA Council meets for the first time
SEPA Council meets for the first time

07/06/2010

On 7 June 2010 the recently created SEPA (Single Euro Payments Area) Council met for the first time, taking a major step forward in the realisation of an integrated market for payments in euro.

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