European Greens protect consumers from high credit card fees

Retailers and shoppers have something to celebrate ahead of the Chancellor’s budget next week, as the European Parliament voted yesterday to approve new EU rules on credit and debit card interchange fees. The legislation challenges the duopoly of Visa and MasterCard and will significantly bring down their fees. Greens had a strong presence in the negotiations, both in Parliament and with the Council and Commission, creating a bulwark against attempts to protect the finance companies.

Dr Molly Scott Cato, Green MEP for the South West said:

“Today’s vote is a shining example of where the EU can be a real force for good. It signifies a real boost to both retailers and consumers, who are hit hard by the excessive fees which are charged when someone choses to pay using Visa or MasterCard.

“The lack of competition in the market for credit has meant that we needed strong political resolve to challenge the duopolists and protect consumers. It is thanks to a strong Green presence in the negotiations that much of the bureaucracy and lack of transparency in the existing system will now change.”

Greens are calling on retailers to pass on the savings to consumers. They say high fees have often been piled on to consumers, so any savings must now benefit them, not just retailers.