Following Commissioner Vestager’s answer to question Ε-002432/2017 on interchange fees, the Commissioner highlighted the provisions of Regulation 2015/751 which specified the cap on interchange fees for card payments.

However, it has been confirmed that banking fees have dramatically increased in a number of countries since the regulation was applied. These costs include other ‘hidden charges’, such as charges for the use of ATMs and for withdrawals, monthly service charges, or clerical fees.

These charges are often imposed ex post, take consumers by surprise, and generate revenue for banks through opaque means. These unjustifiable increases occurred after 2016, and are inexplicable given that major technological developments such as blockchain can eliminate banking fees almost completely.

Will the Commission say:

What is its current understanding of the yearly costs of hidden banking charges and brokerage fees?

How can it justify increasing these charges, especially in Greece, whose citizens incur additional fees as they are forced to make cashless payments?

Why have the potential savings of fintech technologies, such as blockchain, not been passed on to European consumers?