The European Commission has today published a report on the impacts of restrictions on payments in cash. The report concludes that at this stage, the Commission is not considering any legislative initiative on this matter. Restrictions on cash payments are a sensitive issue for European citizens, many of whom view the possibility to pay in cash as a fundamental freedom, which should not be disproportionally restricted.
The report builds on the findings of a study commissioned by the European Commission. The study, finalised early 2018, suggested that restrictions on payments in cash would not significantly prevent terrorism financing, but indicated that such restrictions could be useful in combatting money laundering. The study also noted that the existence of diverging restrictions at national level had a noticeable negative impact on the internal market by distorting competition and creating an uneven playing field among some businesses. As the focus of the current initiative was countering terrorism financing, further targeted assessment of potential restrictions would be required.
Today's report is the latest step in the process launched by the Commission in January 2017 to examine the impacts of restrictions on payments in cash, in the context of the fight against terrorism. The Economic and Financial Affairs Council of 12 February 2016 called on the Commission to undertake this exercise and "explore the need for appropriate restrictions on cash payments exceeding certain thresholds".
For more information
- Publication date
- 13 June 2018
- Directorate-General for Economic and Financial Affairs