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15.01.2014

Bank Austria will extend the deadline for the final switchover to IBAN and BIC for its customers

  • As originally planned in the EU regulation, Bank Austria will carry out the SEPA switchover on 1 February 2014 and has already made all the preparations necessary for timely implementation
  • However, in consideration of the extension of the deadline for the SEPA switchover until 1 August 2014 proposed by the European Commission, Bank Austria will continue to process and accept euro payment transfers and debit orders in the old format for all customers after 1 February until the expiration of the new deadline
  • Despite this extension, Bank Austria urges all customers to start using IBAN and BIC immediately
  • Companies that still have not switched over to SEPA should do so immediately; Bank Austria offers extensive information and advice about this process

The European Commission's proposal to extend the deadline for the final SEPA switchover defined in EU Regulation No. 260/2012 still has to be approved by the European Parliament and the European Council. However, Bank Austria assumes that this deadline extension will be passed by the EU bodies as recommended and will therefore ensure that euro-denominated payment transfers and debit orders will continue to be processed for customers in the old format – i.e. with the account number and bank sort code – along with IBAN and BIC until the expiration of the new deadline.

Helmut Bernkopf, the Management Board member responsible for Commercial Banking, had the following comment: "Bank Austria has made all of the preparations for the SEPA switchover and will carry out this step on 1 February as planned. Of course we fulfil all of the legal requirements. However, based on the recommendation of the European Commission, we will also make preparations to extend the deadline for the acceptance and processing of euro-denominated payment transfers and debit orders in the old format using the account number and bank sort code to the extent that is ultimately decided by the EU bodies. In this way, we are supporting all of our customers who are not yet ready for the switch."

Dieter Hengl, the Management Board member responsible for Corporate and Investment Banking, added: "Regardless of the deadline extension, we are urging all companies that are not yet ready for the SEPA switchover to immediately take all necessary measures to switch their payment transactions over to the new SEPA procedures, because the extension is only for a brief period of time. As we have up until now, we will continue to support our customers with extensive information, measures, workshops and comprehensive advice in order to assist them with the transition to the new SEPA standards. We must ensure that all Austrian companies comply with the SEPA standards in time so that the smooth processing of payment transactions can be guaranteed in the future as well."

All of the important information regarding the SEPA switchover for retail and commercial customers can be found at  www.sepa.bankaustria.at.

Enquiries: Bank Austria Press Office Austria
Matthias Raftl, Tel. +43 (0) 50505 - 52809
E-mail: matthias.raftl@unicreditgroup.at