Despite what you hear and read about SEPA it is a fact that it has failed to achieve any notable volume since it went live. At a recent conference chaired by yours truly a number of eminent speakers from the upper echelons of banking finally agreed in public
under examination that there has only been 2.5% of possible volume of SEPA Credit Transfers this year. That 2.5% mainly come from organisations and the few sources keen to push any volume though. This is a spectacular failure in anyone's language!
For those spouting that this is a long term project and not to concentrate on the immediate volumes, the same people and an expert audience agreed that there is now motivation for banks to take part in pushing up the volume and with the current crisis in
finance, the chances of SEPA projects being implemented were slim.
The question has to be asked? How could the banking industry and the European Parliament get it so wrong? Who is to blame for making this expensive error of judgment? A blind man could see that despite SEPA looking great on paper there was no motivation
for banks or corporates to invest in building systems or changing their business.
The worry is that SEPA Direct Debits is likely to go the same way once it's implemented. Who is leading the SEPA initiatives and what measurements are there for success and what constitutes failure?
What's obvious to me is that the European single market vision is in tatters and will remain so until the European Parliament decide to work with the Banks to devise plans to achieve their political objectives, without putting the banks and the finance industry
in a position where they say yes but actually mean no!