Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2007-04-23-Speech-1-086"
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"Thank you, Mr President, and well done, Mr Gauzès. We have waited a long time, but we have finally got there. Well done! Importantly, the payment services directive opens up the payments market to non-banks. Barriers to entry and the stifling of innovation have been addressed, at least to some extent, through a mix of waivers for smaller players and flexibility for Member States on electronic money and other new means of payments, such as the money purse. However, I feel that there are some aspects where we have had an opportunity to make bigger inroads towards competition but have not gone nearly far enough. Non-banks do not need such comprehensive capital requirements as have been agreed with the Council. Payment services companies such as remitters, bill payers and companies offering card-based payment services do not take deposits and therefore do not need the same financial underpinning as deposit-taking commercial banks. One suspects that this is more a matter of protecting traditional banks from new competitors than of protecting consumers. Secondly, in this age of instantaneous communication surely even one day is more than should be necessary to move money from one end of the earth to the other, let alone from Strasbourg to Freiburg. And why are the banks afraid to be transparent about the cost of their services instead of charging by stealth in the form of unjustifiably long float times? Surely, in the spirit of Lisbon, we should be leading the world in applying today’s technology to money transfers. They should be instantaneous, with no delay at all. The service provider should then openly display its full charge for the service. So this directive, as finally and tortuously agreed, is a step in the right direction towards providing Europeans, both individuals and SMEs, with a modern, efficient and reasonably-priced money transmission service. But it is not all we should expect. Hopefully there will be further steps, Commissioner."@en1
member; Committee of Inquiry into the crisis of the Equitable Life Assurance Society (2006-02-16--2007-06-19)3
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