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Bank fees - can this still be used as a payment excuse within the EU?
Thread poster: markj
markj
German to English
+ ...
Jul 29, 2004

Hi everyone

An agency in Italy is telling me they would prefer not to pay my invoice for 100 euros at the moment (which is already 6 weeks late) because they would have to pay bank charges of 30 euros on it and would prefer to wait until there are more invoices to be paid to me and then pay them all at once (the next one is due to be paid in September). Can this excuse still be used in the EU, now that we have all have IBANs and bank charges have been abolished for intra-EU transactions (or so I thought, at least)? Any advice, particularly from those familiar with the banking system in Italy, would be appreciated.

Thanks
Mark


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xxxncfialho  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:12
German to Portuguese
+ ...
Depends.. Jul 29, 2004

I am not sure but I think it depends although on where YOU are located...

Natália


markj wrote:

Hi everyone

An agency in Italy is telling me they would prefer not to pay my invoice for 100 euros at the moment (which is already 6 weeks late) because they would have to pay bank charges of 30 euros on it and would prefer to wait until there are more invoices to be paid to me and then pay them all at once (the next one is due to be paid in September). Can this excuse still be used in the EU, now that we have all have IBANs and bank charges have been abolished for intra-EU transactions (or so I thought, at least)? Any advice, particularly from those familiar with the banking system in Italy, would be appreciated.

Thanks
Mark


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xxxMarc P  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:12
German to English
+ ...
Bank fees - can this still be used as a payment excuse within the EU? Jul 29, 2004

Mark,

Are you located in the UK, by any chance? Do you have a Euro bank account?

There is some confusion over the "abolition of bank charges" for transfers. Firstly, banks haven't been required to abolish them, only to reduce them to the same level as transfers within the national territory. Secondly, this provision only applies to transfers in Euros.

By Italian agency standards, your customer actually seems quite reasonable: payment after 90 days is not uncommon and many customers would simply deduct the charges their end from the amount to be transferred (rightly or wrongly).

Essentially, what counts is what was agreed beforehand. Did you agree that the agency would bear the bank charges its end? If so, they should do so, and not use it as an excuse for delaying payment. If this wasn't agreed, the customer is arguably acting in your interests. Which party is responsible for bearing bank charges in the absence of an agreement is a moot point, but the only winners are the banks, so it's worth trying to find a satisfactory arrangement with your customer. If, as I suspect, you don't have a Euro account, my advice would be to do so, and failing that, to go along with your customer's suggestion.

Marc


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Ralf Lemster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 09:12
English to German
+ ...
Where are you located? Jul 29, 2004

Hi Mark,
You didn't say where you are located (more precisely: in which country you maintain your bank account), and your profile doesn't state it either. (The reason why I'm asking is that not all EU countries have adopted the single currency.)

Can this excuse still be used in the EU, now that we have all have IBANs and bank charges have been abolished for intra-EU transactions (or so I thought, at least)?

A famous misconception about this rule is that it has abolished transfer fees (although that was the effect in many countries). Standard cross-border payments in euro (i.e. from a euro account to a euro account) must be charged at the same rate as domestic transfers, but not necessarily for free.

In any case, I don't believe the excuse given is genuine, as I cannot imagine a domestic transfer that would cost 30 euros in fees.

We had a similar discussion recently where a comparable amount was deducted - it turned out that the outsourcer in question was using fax instructions to make payments. As these need to be entered manually, they attract a hefty fee. But in the age of online banking, this should no longer be an excuse.

HTH, Ralf


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Sigrid Pichler
Italy
Local time: 09:12
German to Italian
+ ...
IBAN-Code Jul 29, 2004

Hi! If you are located in a country within the EU a money wire can be made without any fees: just provide the Italian agency with your IBAN (International bank account) and BIC code.

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Sigrid Pichler
Italy
Local time: 09:12
German to Italian
+ ...
IBAN Jul 29, 2004

No fee will occur if you are located in a country within the Eu and if you provide the Italian agency with your IBAN (International bank account number) and BIC code.

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Ralf Lemster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 09:12
English to German
+ ...
Not necessarily Jul 29, 2004

Careful here...
Sigrid Pichler wrote:

No fee will occur if you are located in a country within the Eu and if you provide the Italian agency with your IBAN (International bank account number) and BIC code.

That would only be the case if (i) domestic euro transfers are free and (ii) the recipient's account is a euro account.

Although most cross-border transfers within the EU are, in fact, free of charge, it's dangerous to generalise.

Best regards, Ralf


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markj
German to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Sorry! Jul 29, 2004

Sorry, I should have mentioned that I'm in Germany and have a euro account. I've also informed them of my IBAN and BIC.

Thanks for your replies so far.

Mark


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xxxncfialho  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:12
German to Portuguese
+ ...
From Italy to Germany Jul 29, 2004

I do quite some wire transfers from Portugal to Germany and the fee is (if I make the transfer online, and use IBAN and Swift) 0,75€...same price a national wire transfer.

So I guess between Italy and Germany it shoudn´t be much different.

Natália

markj wrote:

Sorry, I should have mentioned that I'm in Germany and have a euro account. I've also informed them of my IBAN and BIC.

Thanks for your replies so far.

Mark


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Sonja Tomaskovic  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 09:12
English to German
+ ...
Received payments from Italy to Germany without fees Jul 29, 2004

Hi,

some time ago I worked for an Italian agency. All payments were made by bank transfer. They never deducted any fees for bank transfer, let alone 30 EURO. I assume that your client simply does not know how to conduct a bank transfer online using IBAN and BIC.

You could either
* tell them how they can send you the money without any charges or
* ask them to pay you by Moneybookers, PayPal, whatever (provided that you have an account).

HTH.

Sonja


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Uldis Liepkalns  Identity Verified
Latvia
Local time: 10:12
Member (2003)
English to Latvian
+ ...
It depends Jul 29, 2004

on where you are located, as well as on the specific bank. For example, our bank still charges EUR 18 for EUR transfer from Latvia to any other EU country, whereas Estonian banks even before the EU for EUR transfers to Latvia charged about EUR 6...
And that is both parties having IBAN and EUR accounts.
Uldis

Natália Fialho wrote:

I am not sure but I think it depends although on where YOU are located...

Natália


[Edited at 2004-07-29 11:20]


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