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MADRID (Reuters) – Hundreds of Chinese citizens waving Spanish and Chinese flags took to the streets of Madrid on Friday to protest against BBVA, saying the bank had blocked their accounts. The protesters said they had been told their bank accounts had been blocked because of money laundering regulations but insisted they had done nothing wrong. “We gathered here to demand equality because we are ordinary citizens designer cufflinks. I work in a consultancy office and I don’t have suspicious transactions”, said Yunajie Chen, a Chinese accountant who arrived in Spain as a child and has been a BBVA client for over six years..
BBVA, Spain’s second largest bank, declined to comment on any of these cases and said it does not discriminate against any clients based on nationality and treats all customers with the same criteria designer cufflinks. Spain beefed up its money laundering regulations last year. The law requires clients to give the bank a series of personal details and background information, regardless of their nationality, said spokesman for the Spanish banking association AEB, Jose Luis Martinez Campuzano. However Dawein Ding, vice-president of a Chinese radio station in Madrid who also works for the Chinese Association in Spain (ACHE), said banks such as BBVA were demanding far more details and making the process more complicated for Chinese citizens than for Spanish nationals..
“For a Spaniard to open a bank account they just have to show their identification card, whereas Chinese citizens have to deliver much more paperwork such as evidence of their work life like payslips and contracts,” Ding said. BBVA declined to comment on this designer cufflinks. The protesters, gathered by a major BBVA branch, said increased scrutiny effectively cut them off from paying their utility bills or tuition costs for their children. “What BBVA and some other banks have done has damaged the legal interests of thousands of ordinary Chinese, the lives of many people..have been affected,” said Feng Mao, the head of the ACHE association..
(Reuters) – Visa Inc and Mastercard Inc, the two biggest U.S. card networks, are preparing to raise certain fees levied on U.S. merchants for processing transactions from this April, the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday, citing people familiar with the matter. Some of the changes relate to so-called interchange fees, the report said. Interchange fees are what merchants pay to banks when consumers use a credit or a debit card to make a purchase from their store designer cufflinks. Fees that Mastercard and Visa charge financial institutions, such as banks, for processing card payments on behalf of merchants, are also set to go up, the report said..
A Visa spokesperson confirmed that the fee hikes would go into effect in April, 2019, but only for merchant banks, and not merchants designer cufflinks. Merchant banks are financial institutions that maintain accounts for sellers such as Amazon and Costco. JPMorgan, Citigroup and Bank of America are some of the top merchant banks in the country. However, it is up to merchant banks if they want to pass on the fee hike to sellers, or absorb it themselves. Similarly, it is sellers’ discretion to pass on the hike to consumers or not..