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On cross-border credit transfers



Directive 97/5/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 27 January 1997 on cross-border credit transfers

Official Journal L 043 , 14/02/1997 P. 0025 - 0030

DIRECTIVE 97/5/EC OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL of 27 January 1997 on cross-border credit transfers

OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL of 27 January 1997 on cross-border credit transfers


Having regard to the Treaty establishing the European Community, and in particular Article 100a thereof,

Having regard to the proposal from the Commission (1),

Having regard to the opinion of the Economic and Social Committee (2),

Having regard to the opinion of the European Monetary Institute,

Acting in accordance with the procedure laid down in Article 189b of the Treaty (3) in the light of the joint text approved on 22 November 1996 by the Conciliation Committee,

  1. Whereas the volume of cross-border payments is growing steadily as completion of the internal market and progress towards full economic and monetary union lead to greater trade and movement of people within the Community; whereas cross-border credit transfers account for a substantial part of the volume and value of cross-border payments;
  2. Whereas it is essential for individuals and businesses, especially small and medium-sized enterprises, to be able to make credit transfers rapidly, reliably and cheaply from one part of the Community to another; whereas, in conformity with the Commission Notice on the application of the EC competition rules to cross-border credit transfers (4), greater competition in the market for cross-border credit transfers should lead to improved services and reduced prices;
  3. Whereas this Directive seeks to follow up the progress made towards completion of the internal market, in particular towards liberalization of capital movements, with a view to the implementation of economic and monetary union; whereas its provisions must apply to credit transfers in the currencies of the Member States and in ecus;
  4. Whereas the European Parliament, in its resolution of 12 February 1993 (5), called for a Council Directive to lay down rules in the area of transparency and performance of cross-border payments;
  5. Whereas the issues covered by this Directive must be dealt with separately from the systemic issues which remain under consideration within the Commission; whereas it may become necessary to make a further proposal to cover these systemic issues, particularly the problem of settlement finality;
  6. Whereas the purpose of this Directive is to improve cross-border credit transfer services and thus assist the European Monetary Institute (EMI) in its task of promoting the efficiency of cross-border payments with a view to the preparation of the third stage of economic and monetary union;
  7. Whereas, in line with the objectives set out in the second recital, this Directive should apply to any credit transfer of an amount of less than ECU 50 000;
  8. Whereas, having regard to the third paragraph of Article 3b of the Treaty, and with a view to ensuring transparency, this Directive lays down the minimum requirements needed to ensure an adequate level of customer information both before and after the execution of a cross-border credit transfer; whereas these requirements include indication of the complaints and redress procedures offered to customers, together with the arrangements for access thereto; whereas this Directive lays down minimum execution requirements, in particular in terms of performance, which institutions offering cross-border credit transfer services should adhere to, including the obligation to execute a cross-border credit transfer in accordance with the customer's instructions; whereas this Directive fulfils the conditions deriving from the principles set out in Commission Recommendation 90/109/EEC of 14 February 1990 on the transparency of banking conditions relating to cross-border financial transactions (6); whereas this Directive is without prejudice to Council Directive 91/308/EEC of 10 June 1991 on prevention of the use of the financial system for the purpose of money laundering (7);
  9. Whereas this Directive should contribute to reducing the maximum time taken to execute a cross-border credit transfer and encourage those institutions which already take a very short time to do so to maintain that practice;
  10. Whereas the Commission, in the report it will submit to the European Parliament and the Council within two years of implementation of this Directive, should particularly examine the time-limit to be applied in the absence of a time-limit agreed between the originator and his institution, taking into account both technical developments and the situation existing in each Member State;
  11. Whereas there should be an obligation upon institutions to refund in the event of a failure to successfully complete a credit transfer; whereas the obligation to refund imposes a contingent liability on institutions which might, in the absence of any limit, have a prejudicial effect on solvency requirements; whereas that obligation to refund should therefore be applicable up to ECU 12 500;
  12. Whereas Article 8 does not affect the general provisions of national law whereby an institution has responsibility towards the originator when a cross-border credit transfer has not been completed because of an error committed by that institution;
  13. Whereas it is necessary to distinguish, among the circumstances with which institutions involved in the execution of a cross-border credit transfer may be confronted, including circumstances relating to insolvency, those caused by force majeure; whereas for that purpose the definition of force majeure given in Article 4 (6) of Directive 90/314/EEC of 13 June 1990 on package travel, package holidays and package tours (8) should be taken as a basis;
  14. Whereas there need to be adequate and effective complaints and redress procedures in the Member States for the settlement of possible disputes between customers and institutions, using existing procedures where appropriate,