Summary: The European Commission has tentatively concluded that banks in Europe will follow its Recommendation earlier this year on charging for Euro conversions, and that there is no need at present for legislation. The Commission assessment is based on the European banking associations' own recently-presented report on their members' intentions, which indicated that banks will not plan to charge for converting accounts and payments into Euros from the beginning of 1999.

The Commission's report shows that the form of compliance varies from country to country. Some are including the principles of the Recommendation into national law, and others relying on national guidelines or standards of good practice, or on voluntary decisions by banks. There are still some gaps, for instance on customer information, where more information is needed. However, the overall picture is satisfactory, the Commission judges. But while the banks are showing goodwill, it is too early to say whether the new arrangements will be implemented effectively, the Commission warns. So, to help ensure public confidence in the euro, the Commission will continue to monitor the situation, and will invite individuals and organisations to communicate any difficulties or failures they encounter during the first half of 1999. Saving banks' Charter. The European...

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