A number of financial institutions have signed a joint statement with the European Commission pledging to lower total fees of remittances to Ukraine at least during the war. Signatories include Mastercard, Visa, Wise, and TransferGo among others.
The statement is inspired by the important role remittances play in the Ukrainian economy, which has significantly increased in importance during the war as people have been forced to leave the country. Remittance flows in Ukraine were over $14 billion in 2021, roughly 7% of its GDP. The World Bank now projects that remittances to Ukraine will increase by 22% in 2022.
Signatories have committed to:
- Sustain their efforts to facilitate remittance flows and to ensure that remittance fees continue to decrease and converge towards the established target set at 3% in the Sustainable Development Goals and G20 Roadmap on cross-border payments.
- Voluntarily and bilaterally lower total fees, sustaining their efforts at least during the war.
- Disclose total fees, including transfer fees and foreign exchange margin applied over the euro or hryvnias exchange rates fixed respectively by the ECB and the National Bank of Ukraine (‘mark-up rule’).
- Seek to maintain the accessibility of remittance services through a network of agents and the further development of digital services.
Mairead McGuinness, European commissioner for financial services, financial stability and Capital Markets Union, said: “Since Russian's illegal invasion, the European Union has been and remains steadfast in its support of Ukraine and its people. As the war continues, so too does our support for Ukraine. The people of Ukraine are suffering the horrible consequences of war. As President von der Leyen said in her State of the Union address, Europe's solidarity with Ukraine will remain unshakeable.
“Finding practical solutions to help Ukrainians living abroad, many forced to flee as a consequence of the war, to send remittances to their loved ones at home is a very concrete example of our solidarity. I welcome that EU and Ukrainian companies active in remittances have come together to achieve this objective. We are open to, and in fact would welcome, more providers joining the statement for affordable, accessible and transparent remittance services to Ukraine.”