Eurozone banks now have to charge the same fee for international money transfers of up to 12,500 within the zone as they do for domestic transfers.

The new regulation came into effect on 1 July after more than a decade of pressure from the European Union authorities. The average cost of transferring 100 across EU borders in 2001 was about 24 (28,61 for Italy).

Last July, a similar rule made it illegal for banks to charge more for cash withdrawals from automatic teller machines (ATMs) in other eurozone countries than they did for withdrawals from other banks at home. In Italy, banks charge around 1.81 for the withdrawal of cash through ATMs that belong to different financial institutes.