Extracts from the joint press conference by Michel Barnier and Tonio Borg on a directive focusing on the transparency and comparability of bank account fees, bank account switching and access to a basic bank account
Type: Summary of press conference
Brussels - EC/Berlaymont
On 8 May 2013, Michel Barnier, Member of the EC in charge of Internal Market and Services, Tonio Brog, Member of the EC in charge of Health and Consumer Policy, gave a press conference in Brussels. On this occasion, they presented a proposal for a Directive on the transparency and comparability of payment account fees, payment account switching and access to a basic payment account.
The European Commission published its proposal for a Directive on the transparency and comparability of payment account fees, payment account switching and access to a basic payment account. The Commission proposals tackle three areas: Comparability of payment account fees: by making it easier for consumers to compare the fees charged for payment accounts by banks and other payment service providers in the EU; Payment account switching: by establishing a simple and quick procedure for consumers who wish to change from their payment account to one with another bank or payment service provider; Access to payment accounts: by allowing EU consumers who want to open a payment account, without being residents of the country where the payment service provider is located, to do so. Moreover, these provisions will allow all EU consumers, irrespective of their financial situation, to open a payment account that allows them to perform essential operations.
Only the original language version is authentic and it prevails in the event of its differing from the translated versions.
||Exterior view of the Berlaymont building in Brussels
||Michel Barnier, Member of the EC in charge of Internal Market and Services, and Tonio Brog, Member of the EC in charge of Health and Consumer Policy, before the beginning of the press conference
||Soundbite by Michel Barnier (in FRENCH) saying that 59 millions Europeans citizens do not have a bank account at the moment. And half them would like to have one. 2,5 millions of citizen have been rejected when then ask to open a bank account. Either because in the country where they live, they are considered as not creditworthy or because they are students and that is not normal. It is unacceptable. This situation must change.
||Cutaway of cameraman and photographers
||Soundbite by Michel Barnier (in FRENCH) saying that they are doing this by the obligation to open a bank account and also by transparency and by the diversity which will allow consumers and citizens to choose.
||Cutaway of photographers
||Soundbite by Tonio Borg (in ENGLISH): And there is in the directive the obligation, when this directive will be approved, that each Member State must be sure that there is a website for comparative pricing as regard banking sectors. And there is also the obligation that when someone opens a bank account, he has to be given a document listing the prices of the tariffs for the 20 most common services which the bank gives.
||Cutaway of a cameraman
||Soundbite by Tonio Borg (in ENGLISH): And the third most important point in this directive is making switching easier. Now, the figures speak for themselves. 30 % of all the websites of the commercial banks in EU don't have any information on switching a bank account to another bank.
||Michel Barnier and Tonio Borg