MasterCard is to face one of the United Kingdom's first class action lawsuits following a protracted legal battle between the cards network and the European Commission over interchange fees charged on MasterCard debit and credit cards.
The lawsuit is being brought under the Consumer Rights Act 2015, which allows collective action cases to be brought on an opt-out basis rather than having to recruit claimants, according to the Financial Times.
MasterCard was found to have been in breach of EU law in 2014 for imposing interchange fees on cross-border card transactions. The claim against the company alleges that UK consumers suffered losses of up to £19 billion due to the fees.
Governor of the Bank of England Mark Carney has released £150 billion in lending and relaxed rules governing the banking sector in order to free up household and business lending while warning of risks to financial stability in the aftermath of the Brexit referendum.
The European Commission has proposed more stringent rules on the use of virtual currencies and prepaid cards in order to combat the financing of terrorism through anonymous payments. The rules will require virtual currency exchanges to increase identity checks on clients exchanging currencies such as bitcoin for fiat currencies and report suspicious transactions, according to Reuters.
Meanwhile, the maximum payment allowed on prepaid cards would be lowered to €150 ($167.28) from €250. Police investigating the Paris attacks last November have established that prepaid cards were used by the culprits.
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