It’s been a few years now since the European directive that ruled that cross border money transfers should be priced the same within the EU as domestic money transfers. At the time, there was a brief flurry of activity from the payments associations with systems allowing money transfer cross border from card to card. Not much more has been said. One assumed that systems were therefore in place.
And indeed they are. Sort of. My dinner party neighbour was telling me how he wanted to transfer money to the Netherlands to his girlfriend. His bank (whose name I handily forget) was delighted to help. That will be £20, Sir. Being the sort of fellow who reads EU directives for fun, he immediately queried this, but there was no mistake. For cross border transfers this bank offers euro CHAPS transfers at a cost of £20, in the UK or to Europe. Same price – just what the Commission wanted, albeit strangely similar to the pre-directive price of a cost border transfer. Of course, anyone making a non-urgent UK transfer would use BACS, rather than CHAPS at a price considerably lower than £20 but strangely enough, this bank no longer offers euro BACS transfers. Hmm.