Access to a basic bank account is one of the priorities of the Single Market Act. It has the potential to improve the lives of millions of Europeans. Internal Market and Services Commissioner Michel Barnier
The Commission invites Member States to ensure that such accounts become available at a reasonable charge to consumers, regardless of their country of residence in the EU or their financial situation. <br/>
Access to a bank account has become a pre-condition for participating fully in the economic and social life of a modern society and the use of cash is rapidly decreasing. In today's world, not having access to a basic bank account makes everyday life difficult and more expensive. Everything from paying a utility bill, receiving income or benefits to purchasing goods and services becomes a challenge. Nevertheless, according to recent studies, around 30 million consumers over the age of 18 in the European Union do not have a bank account. Out of these 30 million 'unbanked' citizens, it is estimated that between 6 and 7 million do not have a bank account because they have been denied access to one. These individuals cannot currently benefit fully from the Single Market.
Today's Recommendation from the European Commission on access to a basic payment account will promote financial and social inclusion for consumers across Europe. The Commission invites Member States to ensure that such accounts become available at a reasonable charge to consumers, regardless of their country of residence in the EU or their financial situation. It will assess the situation in one year's time and propose any further measures as necessary, including legislative measures.