Extracts from the press conference by Michel Barnier on access to basic bank accounts
On 18/07/2011 during the press conference in Brussels, Michel Barnier, Member of the EC in charge of Internal Market and Services, presented a European Commission's recommendation promoting access to basic and affordable bank accounts for all European citizens.
The access to a bank account had become a pre-condition for participating fully in the economic and social life of a modern society, and the use of cash was rapidly decreasing. According to the recent studies, around 30 million consumers over the age of 18 in the European Union did not have a bank account. Commission invited Member States to ensure that such accounts became available at a reasonable charge to consumers, regardless of their country of residence in the EU or their financial situation. It would assess the situation in one year's time and propose any further measures as necessary, including legislative measures.
Michel Barnier also reacted to the European Banking Authority's stress tests, which found that eight banks across Europe were too weak to cope with a fresh financial crisis.