Published: Tue, 19 August 2014
“All EU citizens will have the right to a basic bank account, regardless of where they live or their financial situation, thanks to new EU rules,” Sean Kelly MEP said today.
“In Ireland, it is estimated that around 100,000 adults do not have bank accounts. It is an alarming figure considering how essential bank accounts are to enable a citizen to have a full economic and social life, especially as card transactions are overtaking cash for safety and practical reasons.
Payment accounts have become a part of our daily lives; many now pay all their household utilities, rent and other bills online or receive payments that way.”
Across the EU, research shows around 58 million consumers over the age of 15 still do not have payment accounts.
The newly adopted Directive on the transparency and comparability of payment account fees, payment account switching and access to a basic payment account was adopted by the EU Council of Ministers recently, according to the South MEP, a Member of the European Parliament’s Industry Committee.
“It effectively will give EU citizens the right to a basic payment account irrespective of their place of residence or financial situation and improve transparency.
Many consumers have also been paying excessive fees for their bank account although better alternatives existed. Thanks to the new Directive, consumers will get clearer information about the fees they have to pay for services.
“It will also make it easier to switch a bank account from one bank to another and switch accounts easily if they so choose,” Mr Kelly explained.
Once signed into law by the European Parliament, Member States will have two years after to implement the new rules into national law.