We use cookies to collect and analyse information on site performance and usage to improve and customise your experience, where applicable. View our Cookies Policy. Click Accept and continue to use our website or Manage to review and update your preferences.

Continuing IBAN discrimination ‘unacceptable’
(Pic: RollingNews.ie)

13 Feb 2024 / eu Print

IBAN discrimination deemed ‘unacceptable’

European Commission Mairead McGuinness has urged member states to take “more ambitious action” to eradicate what she described as the “unacceptable” practice of IBAN discrimination.

Under the EU’s SEPA rules, refusing to accept payments from IBANs within the SEPA area is prohibited.

Commissioner McGuinness told a meeting of the European Forum for Innovation on Payments that IBAN discrimination was still happening too frequently.


“Nine years after the deadline for SEPA implementation, there are still companies and public administrations refusing to make or receive euro payments involving non-domestic accounts,” she told the meeting of payments officials from the across the EU.

The commissioner said that the problem was continuing to affect individuals and businesses – including fintech firms, “who are not able to fully implement their business model”.

She revealed that the commission was planning a new campaign to remind companies – and the public sector – of their obligation not to discriminate against non-domestic IBAN numbers.

The EU body also wants to increase awareness of rights among groups who may be more likely to face IBAN discrimination, such as Erasmus students, expats, or international researchers.

‘No excuses’

The commissioner told the meeting that, while national regulators had acted and imposed heavy fines, this had not gone far enough to address the problem.

“I hope you're receiving that signal loud and clear from the Berlaymont, that this practice has to end,” Commissioner McGuinness stated.

“It should never have prevailed for so long and, therefore, there are no excuses; we just want to hear the actions,” she added.

Gazette Desk
Gazette.ie is the daily legal news site of the Law Society of Ireland