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01 May 2009 | 15621 views | 3
French banks have pushed back the date for implementation of the Sepa Direct Debit scheme by a year to November 2010, setting the stage for a confrontation with the European Central Bank and the Europ...
The SEPA project received something of a blow when, in December 2008, the French Banking Federation (FBF) announced that its members had suspended work on SEPA pending clarification from European authorities on interchange fees for services that banks supply
to each other.
“As long as these rules are not clarified, the French banks, like many European banks, cannot start the work on the timetable because, like all businesses, banks need to know their economic and legal risks," said a statement from the FBF.
Now they've gone even further, declaring that they now plan to make SDDs available as from November 2010, a year later than is intended by the politicians and regulators. In addition to the interchange issue, the French cite their concerns over the fact
that the PSD will only be transposed in several countries very shortly before the 1 November 2009 target date for SDDs.
This is dramatic posturing, but it actually reflects general and widespread stirrings of unrest from Europe’s banks regarding the SEPA project. The need for a clear, realistic and achievable end-date agreed by all stakeholders has never been more urgent.