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EU Directive on bank fees, switching

Wednesday, July 23 12:35:51

The EU's Council of Ministers have signed a Directive on the transparency and comparability of bank account fees, account switching and access to a basic bank account in a concrete move towards banking union.

The Directive will foster the creation of a real Single Market for retail financial services bringing numerous benefits to EU citizens by providing them with a right to a basic payment account irrespective of their place of residence or financial situation, the EU commission said in a statement today.

The Directive will also substantially improve the transparency of bank account fees and make it easier to switch a bank account from one bank to another.

The Directive will now be signed by the European Parliament and published in the Official Journal of the European Union.

Member States will then have two years after its entry into force to implement the Directive into their national law.

Vice-President Michel Barnier, responsible for Internal Market and Services said: "We are very happy that the Council has confirmed its support for a very important piece of legislation. The Directive will help millions of consumers who often encounter difficulties in accessing a bank account in the EU, allowing them to better enjoy the benefits of the single market in this area and to participate fully in the economic and social life of a modern society."

"Until now, many consumers were paying excessive fees for their bank account although better alternatives existed. Thanks to the new Directive, consumers will get clearer information about the fees they have to pay," Commissioner for Consumer Policy Neven Mimica said. "People will be able to compare the costs of different accounts and switch to the better option more easily," he added.

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