A new approach to search for structural breaks in the retail lending rates pass-through in the wake of EMU is proposed and implemented for Italy and Portugal. The econometric exercise shows that breakpoints cluster in the second semester 1999 and that the pass-through on short term lending is, in contrast with earlier research, sizeably lower in the post-break period. The recently proposed distinction between monetary policy and cost-of-funds approaches in the pass-through analysis does not yield different breakpoints. These results challenge the widely held view that EMU has in its wake enhanced the effectiveness of monetary transmission via the banking sector and made it more uniform across countries, because of rising and converging pass-throughs. A strengthened relationship lending could at least partly explain the reduced pass-through in the Italian case.