Comparability of fees / payment accounts

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stanovisko EHSV: Comparability of fees / payment accounts

Key points

The EESC:

  • welcomes the Commission's proposal and considers that the adoption of a directive is the most suitable way of implementing measures aiming to give all citizens access to bank account and to improve the comparability of fees and banking mobility;
  • regrets, however, the restricted scope of some of the measures (e.g. harmonisation of terminology);
  • welcomes the provisions which aim to improve transparency, as well as the proposals on banking mobility, although believes that the latter should be preceded by an independent study;
  • considers that a requirement for the provision of a statement of fees should be supplemented by a requirement to inform consumers in advance of the debiting of unusual fees to their account;
  • favours the establishment of independent comparison web sites and calls for the register of existing sites to enable consumers to have access to information on financial institutions located in all the Member States;
  • stresses the importance of training staff of payment service providers and the need for financial education;
  • considers that the real costs should be taken into account in determining whether charges are "reasonable" in cases where owning and operating the account is not free, and stresses the need to limit non-compliance charges;
  • shares the Commission's view on the need to provide for checks and dissuasive sanctions in the event of non-compliance with the provisions of the directive.

Related EESC opinions: