Fabian Demicoli

Malta Disregards European Commission Directive

  

Following the decision of the European Commission of 19th December 2007 ordering MasterCard to withdraw the interchange charges they impose through the local banks on retailers who accept payments by customers on MasterCard Credit Cards, MasterCard has declared that it will comply with the European Commission decision of 19th December  2007 and completely withdraw its cross-border interchange fees as of 21st June 2008.

 

Local banks have decided to keep this saving in their credit card fees they pay to MasterCard and keep the "commission" charge to retailers in Malta as before. Clearly, the European Commission decision was intended to increase the profit local banks make on every transaction by credit card but to reduce the final cost to retailers and reduce cross-border barriers to trade.

GRTU expects the Office of Fair Trading, the Malta Financial and Services Authority and the Ministry of Finance the Economy and Investment to intervene, as the two major local banks are abusing their dominant market position and acting collusively together, in a de facto cartel.

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