Access to basic banking services
Report with recommendations to the Commission on Access to Basic Banking Services
This own-initiative, non-legislative report by Jürgen KLUTE (GUE/NGL, DE) was written for and adopted by the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs.
The report states that allowing consumers access to basic banking is important for the functioning of the internal market. It allows consumers to take advantage of e-commerce and in many places is a pre-requisite for employment and housing.
It has been estimated that 7% of the Union’s population does not have a bank account. The member states in which this phenomenon is most prevalent are Romania and Bulgaria where approximately 50% of the adult population do not have a bank account. Indeed, 15 Member States have no legal or voluntary provisions requiring banks to offer basic banking services.
Therefore it is requested that the Commission submit a proposal for a directive that will ensure access to basic payment services for all consumers legally residing in the Union.
The terms for this include that the consumer’s credit history or current financial situation should not be considered at application; that the service may be available without having to purchase other products (such as insurance or other accounts); that the basic account should facilitate transactions such as receiving income or benefits, paying bills or taxes etc; access should be free of charge or at a reasonable cost, which must be transparent and have an annual upper limit, and refusal or annulment of a basic payment account can only be done under objectively justified circumstances in line with relevant Union or national law.
Providers of these accounts must provide the national authorities with regular and reliable information on payment accounts opened and closed, as well as the applications for basic payment accounts that are refused and the reasons for this. Complaints procedures must also be duly established, and competent authorities must be set up to monitor the effectiveness of this implementation.
The European Parliament voted to approve the report on the 4th July 2012 with 585 votes for, 68 against and 5 abstentions.
To read the report click here
Alternatively visit the website at www.europarl.europa.eu
Last Updated (Tuesday, 17 July 2012 12:18)