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SEPA Governance: Setting the Record Straight. SEPA is European integration in action. This process allows any party to engage. There is no 'SEPA governance issue' Viewed 2510 times
Several Brussels-based lobbying organisations regularly claim that the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) process is ‘driven exclusively by the banking industry' and ‘leaves out all other stakeholders'. In the view of the EPC, this statement is inaccurate and misrepresents the role of the EPC in the SEPA process.
The EPC, as mandated by the relevant European authorities, develops the SEPA payment schemes and frameworks based on global technical standards. The schemes are key elements required to making SEPA a reality. The EPC however, is not responsible for the overall management of the SEPA process. This is the task of the relevant public authorities including the European Commission, the European Parliament, the Council representing European Union (EU) Member States, the European Central Bank (ECB) and EU governments. Payment service users are a very important partner in the process.
The SEPA Credit Transfer (SCT) and SEPA Direct Debit (SDD) Schemes are developed by the EPC in close dialogue with the entire European payment community (demand and supply sides), and have evolved based on an open and inclusive scheme change management process. This process provides all stakeholders with the opportunity to actively introduce suggestions for modifications to the schemes and to take part in the annual three-month public consultation on updates to be incorporated into the schemes. Detailed information on the EPC scheme change management process is featured prominently on the EPC Website with a view to alert all stakeholders on how to engage (see links below). The EPC has a proven track record of consulting stakeholders with regard to EPC deliverables.
It should be noted that some suggestions for changes to the schemes repeatedly brought forth by specific interest groups fail to find broad support on both the demand and supply sides of the entire SEPA payment market. The EPC however, is bound to respect majority views as identified during the annual public consultation on scheme development. As a result, the EPC cannot incorporate such requests into the SCT and or SDD Schemes which lack broad support. In the view of the EPC it is inappropriate to disqualify a process designed to identify majority views as ‘ignoring user requests'. This claim is however repeatedly made by some of the parties which also - erroneously - identify a ‘SEPA governance issue'.
SEPA is an EU integration initiative shaped in accordance with EU law and policies. Subject to applicable procedures, any interest group is free to engage in dialogue with the EU institutions. Available data indicates that there are up to 30,000 lobbyists active in Brussels. The legislative process leading to the adoption of the forthcoming ‘Regulation Establishing Technical Requirements for Credit Transfers and Direct Debits in Euros' (the ‘SEPA Regulation') confirms that lobbying organisations representing specific interest groups have successfully channeled their views into this Regulation. One has to also keep in mind that in future the SEPA payment schemes will have to comply with the requirements mandated by the European Commission; i.e. the regulator will take over the role of the scheme manager.
As such, the SEPA process was never ‘driven exclusively by the banking industry'. Anyone who feels that the EU decision-making process is at fault is certainly free to challenge the EU institutions on the matter, however, should refrain from fabricating a ‘SEPA governance issue'.
The SEPA debate must now focus on how to orchestrate mass migration to the harmonised SEPA payment schemes. The EPC invites all parties to close ranks with a view to make SEPA happen in the real world.
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21.05.131 February 2014 SEPA Migration Deadline – Council of the European Union (EU) Representing EU Member States Confirms: Provisions of Regulation (EU) 260/2012 “Have to Be Fully Respected by All Market Participants in Euro Area Member States”
30.11.12SEPA Credit Transfer Rulebook Version 7.0, SEPA Direct Debit (SDD) Core Rulebook Version 7.0, SDD Business to Business Rulebook Version 5.0 and Associated Implementation Guidelines to Take Effect on 1 February 2014 Published
23.08.12Friendly Reminder: EU Law Mandates Migration to SEPA by February 2014 in Euro Area. Recommendation is to Rely on EU Legislator (Not on Speculations Regarding the Impact of the Euro Debt Crisis on SEPA) when Planning Migration. The Time to Act is Now.