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Bank of Italy halts new American Express card issuance

Friday 9 April 2010 | 11:23 AM CET

The central bank of Italy has temporarily prevented American Express from issuing new credit cards in the country. The decision is set to remain valid until the company improves compliance with laws combating money laundering and usury.

The Bank of Italy’s main concern relates to the supplementary cards that were being rolled out without sufficient checks to ensure the lack of use for money laundering operations. Furthermore, the fear that the way in which interest rates are calculated could violate anti-usury laws is another problem to be dealt with.

According to an American Express spokesperson, the necessary measures to adhere more closely to the regulations applicable to payments service providers and financial intermediaries are already in course of implementation.

The suspension of the new cards’ emission is set to take effect from 12 April but will not affect American Express' existing cardholders.

 

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