Sending money or receiving it from UK to be cheaper

EU consumer rules standardise charges

Sending money to the UK, or receiving sterling payments in Ireland, should be cheaper from now on.

New EU consumer rules, which came into force on Monday, will require banks to charge customers for cross-border credit transfers to non-euro zone countries the same as they charge for intra-euro zone and domestic transfers. Cross-border euro payments will incur very low or even zero fees.

The UK and the other non-euro zone member states, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czechia, Denmark, Hungary, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Poland, Romania, Sweden will be affected. The UK, which is likely to leave the EU formally on January 31st, will be obliged to adhere to the rules during at least its period of transition under the end of December, 2020.

The European Commission will closely monitor the application of the new rules, and liaise with national authorities to ensure that they are implemented correctly.


The rules are part of ongoing efforts by the commission to create better and cheaper access to financial services for consumers

As a next step, in April, 2020, additional provisions will apply which will allow EU consumers to compare currency conversion charges when paying with their cards in another EU currency.

Valdis Dombrovskis, the commission’s executive vice-president responsible for an economy that works for people, said the new rules would allow all EU citizens and companies to benefit from cheap cross-border euro payments.

“This is a positive and concrete example of how the single market can bring real benefits to European consumers,” the Latvian politician said. “For instance, a family in Romania that wants to send money in euro to their child doing an Erasmus exchange in Paris will no longer have to factor in additional costs, as they will now be paying the same fee as for a domestic transaction in Romania.”

Patrick Smyth

Patrick Smyth

Patrick Smyth is former Europe editor of The Irish Times