European banks now offer fees transparency
New EU rules for banks and financial services providers, in force from yesterday, require them to be more transparent and open about the fees they charge related to opening and maintaining bank accounts.
"Bank accounts are an essential part of everyday life, allowing us to make and receive payments, shop online, and pay our bills," said the Commission's Financial Services vicepresident Valdis Dombrovskis: "Thanks to the Payment Accounts Directive, consumers have the right since 2016 to open a basic bank account anywhere in the EU, as well as switching to a new provider."
He added that the increased transparency of fees for consumers "will make it easier to shop around for the best and cheapest offers from banks."
Commissioner Vera Jourova said "Recent figures show that consumer trust in banking services is low due to a lack of trans- parency. These new rules will make sure that banks' offers are more transparent and clearer on fees. This is good news for consumers: it will not only make it easier for them to get an overview of the fees, but they will also be able to compare different offers".
The 'Fee Information Document' is a standardised document with a short summary presenting the fees related to most common services, such as money transfers, that a bank will provide customers with when they open a bank account..
In addition, EU consumers will also be receiving - at least annually and free of charge - a 'Statement of Fees', an information document following the same standardised format.
In this document, banks have to detail all expenses incurred by their customers as well as information regarding the interest rates for services linked to a bank account.
The Payment Accounts Directive requires all banks in the EU to present this document as of 31 October 2018, except France and Italy, which already have similar information require- ments in place and will implement these changes by the end of July 2019.