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International Business / The Pacific

Visa International Lets EU Banks Set AmEx Policy: Visa International Inc. opened the way for its European member banks to break with the Visa USA policy on competition and issue credit cards from American Express Co. and Dean Witter, Discover & Co. The Visa International board, meeting in Montreal this week, said it will let each of its six regional boards decide whether to pursue the ban on member banks issuing American Express or Discover cards. In the U.S., Visa forbids banks that issue its cards from also issuing American Express or Discover cards, though it doesn’t prohibit member banks from issuing MasterCards. Visa International was considering applying the same policy worldwide, which prompted a European Union official last week to call the proposal unacceptable. An American Express spokesman called the Visa International decision “very welcome news.”


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