• The owner of the ATM will not be able to charge the client of another entity to withdraw money from its network, but will bill the card issuer
  • The cashier must inform before withdrawing the money of the maximum commission that the card issuer can charge his client

The Council of Ministers has approved a Royal Decree Law (RDL) to regulate commissions for withdrawing cash at ATMs of an entity outside the issuer of the debit or credit card. The double commission is eliminated so that the entity that owns the ATM will not be able to demand it from the user of the service but from the entity that issues the card. The card issuer may or may not pass, totally or partially, this commission to its client, according to its commercial policy. The cashier screen must inform the user of the maximum amount that can be passed on. The rule comes into force on the day of its publication in the BOE and the entities must adapt before January 1, 2016.

The RDL modifies Law 16/2009 of November 13 on Payment Services and provides a balanced solution to the conflict of interest generated by the use of ATMs by clients of another entity. The other objective of the standard is transparency. Credit institutions must inform the Bank of Spain of the fees they will charge for withdrawing cash. For its part, the National Commission of Markets and Competition (CNMC) must submit an annual report to the Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness on the agreements and decisions of the entities in relation to the commissions. The first report of the CNMC will be issued in the first half of 2016.

Consumer protection has always guided the development of this standard, which has had contributions from the Bank of Spain, the CNMC, the OCU, ADICAE and the financial sector itself. The customer will in no case pay the owner of the ATM when he withdraws the money. You will only pay a commission to the issuing entity of your card that will depend on your commercial policy. You will be previously informed to carry out the operation of the maximum commission that may be passed on by your bank.

If the cash withdrawal is by debit, the card issuing entities may only pass on to their client, totally or partially, the commission paid to the entity that owns the ATM, but may not charge any additional commission or expense. In the event of withdrawing cash on credit, the card issuing entities may charge an additional amount to the commission charged between the card issuer and the owner, linked to the granting of the credit. In any case, this amount may not exceed that which the issuing entity charges its own customers for withdrawing cash on credit from its own ATMs.

The two entities, the issuer and the owner of the cashier, may freely agree on the commission to be paid by the first to the second. In the absence of an agreement, the commission determined by the cashier's owner with respect to the station will be the same throughout the national territory and will not be discriminatory. Its amount may be reviewed every year and at all times it must respect the competition rules.

The Council of Ministers has also approved a draft Royal Decree (RD) on Clearing, Settlement and Registration of Negotiable Securities represented by Account Annotations and on Transparency requirements of Issuers of Securities admitted to trading on an Official Secondary Market. This RD undertakes a profound reform of the securities clearing, settlement and registration system to adapt it to European standards. It will entail a modernization of the operations for the sale of shares, which will result in greater efficiency in contracting and a reduction in transaction costs.

Thus, until now, the purchase and sale of shares has been implemented through the so-called “registration references”. With the reform these references are eliminated, so that the settlement of operations is considerably simplified and streamlined. There will be a period of four months, until February 2016, to adapt its procedures to the new standard.

In addition, the Spanish system is adapted to the European Regulation of central securities depositories, which comes into force at the beginning of next year. This will suppose the liquidation of the operations in two business days from the contracting, against the three days that are currently required. The standard will allow the integration of Spain into pan-European post-contracting infrastructure, such as the so-called Target2-Securities system. Finally, the RD incorporates into our legal system the regulatory changes required by the Community Transparency Directive on issuers of securities traded on regulated markets.

The third of the royal decrees approved refers to the development of the Law on Savings Banks and Banking Foundations, which regulates the reserve fund that these foundations must constitute, which completes the legislative changes derived from compliance with the MoU on financial assistance for the recapitalization of credit institutions in Spain. Banking foundations are those that maintain 10% of the capital or voting rights of a credit institution, or that may appoint or remove any member of its administrative body.

Foundations that have a 50% or greater participation in, or have control of, a credit institution must provide a reserve fund, with a term of five years to establish it. It is established at least 0.6% of risk-weighted assets. It can materialize in highly liquid and credit quality assets and must be fully available at all times for use in case of recapitalization. It must be incorporated into the banking foundation and form part of its balance sheet, although exceptionally and when certain requirements are met, it can be incorporated into a holding entity.

Furthermore, the RD delimits the concept of Public Interest Entity, set out in the Accounts Auditing Act of July 2015 in line with European standards. These types of entities are those that are subject to a stricter audit regime. This definition would include, among others, in addition to credit institutions, listed companies and insurers, bank foundations, pension funds and collective investment institutions based on certain thresholds of participants and partners as well as entities that have a turnover more than 2,000 million and more than 4,000 employees. With this modification, we will move to an environment of 1,800 entities.

Finally, and with regard to Collective Investment Institutions, the DR makes the current mandatory liquidity ratio of 3% that these financial instruments must meet flexible. It is established that these institutions have a sufficient level of assets convertible into cash that allows them to meet the repayments within the terms established in the regulations and a minimum liquidity of 1% materialized in cash, deposits, demand accounts or others.

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