1. Holvi’s European vision
Read about our European vision here!
2. Holvi & SEPA
SEPA stands for Single Euro Payments Area. Introduced in 2014, the purpose of SEPA is to unify procedures and standards for euro payment transactions in the European Economic Area and to offer harmonised payment products, such as SEPA Credit Transfers and SEPA Direct Debits. Under SEPA regulation, all domestic payments and cross-border payments within the European Union follow the same standards.
Holvi became a proud SEPA partner back in September of 2016. Since then, we’ve offered unique IBANs and BICs to every Holvi customer. This is how we act to prevent IBAN discrimination, in accordance with SEPA’s policies and international regulations.
3. About our Finnish IBANs and BICs
We’re licensed by the Financial Supervisory Authority of Finland (FIN-FSA). In Finland, all Holvi account IBANs are Finnish, starting with the prefix FI. Under SEPA regulation, all IBANs within the Single Euro Payments Area are created equal and must be accepted everywhere, wherever other SEPA IBANs are accepted.
The Finnish IBAN consists of 18 digits: FI followed by 16 numbers.
The BIC for Holvi accounts with a Finnish IBAN is HOLVFIHH.
Read more about IBANs and BICs here.
4. About our German IBAN and BICs
From 2019, Holvi customers with a business registered in Germany receive a German IBAN, starting with the prefix DE. Our German customers are supervised by the German Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin) and Federal Ministry of Finance (BMF). Under SEPA regulation, all IBANs within the Single Euro Payments Area are created equal and must be accepted everywhere, wherever other SEPA IBANs are accepted.
The German IBAN consists of 22 digits: DE followed by 20 numbers.
The BIC for Holvi accounts with German IBAN is HOLVDEB1XXX.
Read more about IBANs and BICs here.
5. SEPA member states
SEPA has 36 member states: Austria, Belgium, Britain, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Republic of Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Slovakia, Spain and Sweden, the 3 EEA countries of Norway, Liechtenstein, Iceland, and also Switzerland and Monaco.
6. What can I do if I face IBAN discrimination?
Companies and institutions within the SEPA area are obligated to accept any IBAN number of any SEPA member country.
Some companies allow their customers to pay by direct debit, but only using current accounts held with a credit institution in a specific member state. This limitation is known as ‘IBAN Discrimination’, and it constitutes an infringement of Article 9(2) of the SEPA Regulation (Regulation (EU) No 260/2012), which states that
‘A payer making a credit transfer to a payee holding a payment account located within the Union shall not specify the Member State in which that payment account is to be located, provided that the payment account is reachable in accordance with Article 3.’
Any complaints relating to a company's infringement of Article 9 of SEPA Regulation (EU) No 260/2012) which is under the supervision and subject of a financial supervision i.e. FIN-FSA (Finland), BaFin (Germany), the Financial Supervisory Authority is responsible for complaints.
In Austria – IBAN discrimination by companies from Austria
Holvi users in Austria can turn to the FMA for complaints. For more information, please visit the following link:
In Germany – IBAN Discrimination by companies from Germany
Holvi users in Germany can turn to BaFin for complaints relating to companies which are subject to its supervision. For more information, please visit following link:
Holvi users who wish to complain about a company that is not under the supervision of a financial supervision authority can turn to one of the following qualified entities:
- Qualified entities according to German Injunctions Act (only available in German)
Also, complaints can be submitted to the appropriate chamber of industry and commerce. You can find the different chambers of industry and commerce under the following link:
- Chamber of industry and commerce (only available in German)