Central Banking

European banks to drop interchange fees by 2012

The European Commission and the European Central Bank (ECB) have told European banks to get rid of interchange fees on direct debit transactions by 31 October 2012 under EU antitrust rules.

"The Commission makes clear that a general per transaction multilateral interchange fee for direct debit transactions does not seem justified for efficiency reasons and, therefore, does not appear compatible with EU antitrust rules," said the Commission and the ECB in the joint statement.

The statement is a