19 July 2006

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Business Today

Banks to waive charges on Euro in July next year

Kurt Sansone

As of 1 July 2007 the commercial banks will be waiving all charges on deposits in Euro made by shops that accept payment in Euro for products sold to customers.
The chairman of the National Euro-Changeover Committee, Joseph F.X. Zahra yesterday confirmed that agreement has been reached with the commercial banks over the contentious issue, which risked derailing dual pricing after retailers objected to its mandatory introduction given the commercial banks’ initial reluctance to the waiving of charges on Euro currency convergence. “For those shops that accept Euro, alongside other foreign currencies like Sterling, and want to deposit that money into their account at the bank, they can do so without any charges whatsoever. This means that those shops won’t be in a position to charge a mark-up because there is no excuse to do so since bank charges on the Euro would have been waived. So these shops would be displaying prices in Euro based on the fixed parity rate, or rather the irrevocable exchange rate,” Zahra told Business Today.
As for dual pricing, Zahra said it was his wish to see this come into force as early as possible to enable the Maltese public make the psychological switch to the Euro in good time. However, mandatory dual pricing would only b possible around late June or early July 2007 when the irrevocable exchange rate would have been agreed to between the Maltese authorities, the European Central Bank and the European Commission based on an assessment of the country’s adherence to the Maastricht criteria.

The full interview with Joseph F.X. Zahra will be published in next week’s Business Today.

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