Monday, September 08, 2003

Dutch central bank and the ECB statute

August 13, the Dutch competition authority published a press release that banks were not allowed to introduce an interchange fee for express credit transfers. The Nma has now published the full text of the ruling (download here).

It is interesting to note that the Dutch central bank (De Nederlandsche Bank NV, DNB) is one of the participants in the interbank agreement. At the same time the central bank is of course part of the European System of Central Banks. Remember that article 2 of the Statute of the ESCB states:

The ESCB shall act in accordance with the principle of an open market economy with free competition, favouring an efficient allocation of resources, and in compliance with the principles set out in Article 4 (ex Article 3a) of this Treaty.

The hypothesis (to be further investigated in my upcoming PhD research) could be that by and large the central bank does not realise (or sufficiently analyse) the effects of its behaviour from the competiton point of view.