Britons face fees of €18 on UK-EU bank transfers and €5 per ATM withdrawal in Europe

Tuesday, March 22, 2022 11:59 a.m.

A Crédit Agricole branch in Nice, southern France and visited by tens of thousands of Britons every year

French bank Crédit Agricole has introduced a €5 fee for withdrawals made with UK-issued credit and debit cards.

In addition, the bank has recently started to impose a new flat fee of €18 on all bank transfers from Great Britain.

Other European banks are expected to introduce similar fees, according to various European media, including The Connexion magazine.

Since the UK left the European Union, the SEPA rule that EU-wide fees cannot exceed domestic transfer costs no longer applies in the UK.

Although the UK has retained the ability to use the SEPA infrastructure, the cost cap no longer applies and therefore EU-based institutions are allowed to start charging fees for transfers to and from UK, as well as for ATM withdrawals across the EU from the UK. bank cards issued or registered.

ATM cash withdrawals

The UK’s financial watchdog, the Financial Conduct Authority, has warned in the past that cash withdrawals in the EU “could become more expensive” after Brexit.

“We expect companies to notify you of any changes in fees that affect the products you own,” the regulator said.

UK banks normally charge non-pound sterling transaction fees to customers buying or withdrawing money overseas, but these were in place before Brexit took effect.

The additional ATM fees come as Credit Agricole customers in France have reportedly noticed a flat fee being added to money transfers from the UK.

The change has the potential to impact millions of Britons: not only visitors to Europe who do not have an EU bank account, such as tourists and business travellers, but also owners of second homes and British residents residing in France or elsewhere in Europe.

Deborah Elliot, owner of a second home in Indre-et-Loire and holder of a Crédit Agricole account to pay her bills, was accused of withdrawing money from her local Crédit Agricole Touraine Poitou branch with her card British.

“We do business with Santander in the UK, which has no charge for withdrawing euros to our UK debit cards,” she told The Connexxion magazine.

“So we often top up our French bank account by withdrawing money with the UK card for a few days and then paying it into the French account, as this avoids our UK bank’s fixed fee of £25 per international transfer.”

Different points of view

The European Consumer Centre, a lobby and consumer group focused on cross-border payments in Europe, does not believe banks are allowed to charge these newly introduced fees.

Bianca Shulz, group director for France, is convinced that “even if the United Kingdom has left the EU, it remains a member of SEPA; the rules have therefore not changed with regard to SEPA credit transfers.

A spokesman for Credit Agricole, however, reportedly hit back, saying: “I can confirm that the commission is different whether or not the country making the payment is part of the European Economic Area, whether or not it is part of SEPA”.

€7 visa fee for entry into the EU

The additional bank charges come after City AM announced earlier this year that Britons will have to start paying €7 per person and pre-register their details in order to enter the European Union from this year.

Access to all EU Schengen countries will come at a cost from the end of this year, as a European Commission spokesperson in Brussels confirmed in January that all UK travelers will have to pay a visa fee from €7.

The so-called European Travel, Information and Authorization System (ETIAS) allows citizens of 61 non-EU countries to visit the EU Schengen area with a pre-travel authorisation, rather than a full visa.

The European Commission has confirmed that from the end of 2022 the UK will be part of ETIAS, which means Britons will have to pre-register their details before any travel, as well as pay the €7 fee.

Once pre-authorization has been approved, UK passport holders will be allowed to stay in Europe for up to 90 days.

The European Commission has confirmed that payment and pre-registration will apply to all travel within all Schengen states, as well as the non-Schengen microstates of Andorra and Monaco.

This means that ETIAS requirements will be in place for any travel to Austria, Belgium, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Germany, France, Spain, Portugal, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Lithuania, Latvia, San Marino, Estonia, Poland, Slovakia , Hungary, Slovenia, Italy, Greece, Czech Republic, Malta, Monaco, Liechtenstein, Iceland, Norway, Switzerland Vatican City.

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