The banks talked about what awaits us when our country enters the Eurozone.
In the future Law on the introduction of the euro in Bulgaria, it should be explicitly mentioned that the intended continuation of the existing contracts and the automatic recalculation of credits, deposits and funds on accounts and loans will take place without the need for explicit annexation, changes in contracts, repayment plan or other documents proposed by the Association of Banks in Bulgaria in an opinion on the concept of developing a Law for the introduction of the euro in Bulgaria.
Another proposal is to determine the number of banknotes and coins, or the maximum amount, above which the bank can charge a euro exchange fee, in the intended initial six-month period after the leva to euro exchange. Banks also want to require customers to state in advance the amounts they will withdraw in euros. Thus, the bank will be able to ensure availability, and there will be no crowding in the offices.
“We think that in the Law on the introduction of the euro it is good to provide rules regarding the amount of the exchanged amount without payment of costs by the customer. We find, for example, that such a practice is established in Croatia, where we find from the Croatian law on the adoption of the euro that there are limits on certain amounts of banknotes and coins per transaction, up to which customer-consumers could exchange kuna banknotes and coins for free.
In this regard, we would like to propose that a similar limit be applied to leva banknotes and coins that will be exchanged into euros per transaction, up to which the bank will perform the physical exchange free of charge. This limit could be defined either in terms of the amount of banknotes and coins that will be physically exchanged – for example, 100 leva banknotes and 50 coins /cents/ or it could be defined as a leva amount up to which the exchange is free, as for example, this amount could be tied to the existing limit in the Law on the Limitation of Cash Payments /10,000 BGN/, and for coins – BGN 100, the opinion says.
The Association of Banks also points out that the intended requirement to “unify” cards/accounts of customers who have both a leva and a euro card/account, mechanically, as described, is inapplicable. According to them, such a merger cannot technically be done and in no case can it be without the express will of the client.
Another opinion on the concept of the Law on the introduction of the euro states that it is not clear how the wages will be paid from January 1, 2024. If the wages refer to the month of December 2023, but are paid in January 2024, then in leva or euro, the data in Declaration form 1, Declaration form 6, payment orders to banks for payment of net amounts for receipt and insurance and VAT must be submitted to the budget, the opinion says.
It is also not clear how the new value of the insurance and taxable income for the months will be formed, in case of additional payment of amounts from 2023 in a month of 2024. For example, in March 2024, bonuses are charged and paid for the months of January, February , March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November and December 2023.
Another question is whether employers will be obliged to convert basic monthly wages or gross monthly wages referring to the period before January 1, 2024 into euros.
According to another opinion, the proposed concept of law lacks measures and actions against unscrupulous traders who would speculate and form extraordinary profits by misleading consumers, by raising prices, by not complying with the provisions of the Law on the introduction of the euro in the Republic of Bulgaria. Both the current concept and the planned new law should describe in detail the measures and actions against such individuals and legal entities, the opinion says. The Ministry of Finance specifies that the proposals and comments will be considered and taken into account during the development of the draft Law on the introduction of the euro in the Republic of Bulgaria.