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Parliamentary questions
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11 October 2018
Answer given by Vice-President Dombrovskis on behalf of the European Commission
Question reference: E-004254/2018

The Commission would like to refer the Honourable Member to the answer provided to Written Question E-001566/2018, in which the Commission confirmed it is aware of the existence of International Bank Account Number (IBAN) discrimination cases.

The Commission also clarified that it is the responsibility of the national competent authorities to tackle this practice often referred to as ‘IBAN discrimination’. However, some Member States had interpreted the single European payment area (SEPA) Regulation in such a way that only payment services providers (i.e. primarily banks) have to comply with the regulation and that they do not have to enforce it with regard to entities receiving payments. Consequently, some competent authorities designated by Member States did not have the necessary powers to tackle IBAN discrimination by entities receiving payments.

The Commission has raised this issue with Member States and payment services providers and users. It has followed up on complaints received from individual victims of IBAN discrimination to ensure that problems are solved. As a result of these efforts, all but three Member States now fully comply with the SEPA regulation and can deal with cases of IBAN discrimination also by entities receiving payments.

The Commission is in bilateral contact with the Member States concerned. Should the competent national authorities of these Member States fail to solve any remaining issues the Commission stands ready to take the necessary formal steps.

According to Article 11 of the SEPA Regulation, the Member States had to lay down rules on the penalties applicable to infringements of the SEPA regulation. National competent authorities can therefore impose fines in case of infringements.

Last updated: 11 October 2018Legal notice