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Parliamentary questions
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6 March 2020
Question for written answer E-001381/2020
to the Commission
Rule 138
Pascal Arimont (PPE)
 Answer in writing 
 Subject: Continued IBAN discrimination against EU consumers

As laid down in Article 9 of Regulation (EU) No 260/2012, EU consumers should be able to use a single payment account for euro transfers and make cross-border euro bank transfers within the single euro payments area (SEPA) just as easily as within their home country. However, many operators today still refuse cross-border direct debit requests from customers with non-domestic IBANs. This is a major barrier to the single market, limiting the ability of customers to access financial services, pay electricity providers and pay taxes in another EU country.

This breach of the SEPA Regulation has been reported repeatedly to the Commission and national competent authorities, but unfortunately consumers continue to face these obstacles.

Given the fact that IBAN discrimination is still occurring:

1. Does the Commission consider that cross-border access to financial services and utilities providers, inter alia, remains a prerequisite for the proper functioning of the single market?

2. Will it outline the latest actions taken to penalise Member States who continue to permit this illegal practice?

3. Will it specifically address IBAN discrimination in its yet-to-be-published report on single market barriers and the Single Market Enforcement Action Plan, as outlined in the 2020 Commission Work Programme?

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