Banks and other financial services entities of the European Union are obliged to inform their clients of the commissions associated with the opening and maintenance of current accounts Thanks to the new European standards that come into force this Wednesday, October 31. This requirement is included in the directive on payment accounts, approved by the community institutions in 2014, with the aim of increasing transparency in the opening of bank accounts and allowing clients to change banks more easily.
Thus, banks will have to present their clients the so-called 'Informative Document of the Commissions' ('Fee Information Document', in English) when they open an account. This document should include a "short summary" on the commissions associated with the most common services, such as opening and maintaining those accounts.
Further, they must deliver a document called 'State of Commissions' every year and free of charge', (' Statement of fees', in English), which collects detailed information about the expenses incurred by customers and the interest rates linked to each account.
The directive of payment accounts obliges all banks in the EU block to submit this document as of October 31, 2018, with the exceptions of France and Italy, which already had similar requirements for their banks and which will adopt European rules in July of next year.
The vice president of the European Commission responsible for Financial Services, Valdis Dombrovskis, stressed that bank accounts are "an essential part of daily life" and stressed that with the new rules transparency is raised over the fees charged to all the clients. "This will facilitate the comparison between the best and cheapest offers of banks," he said.
For its part, the Commissioner for Justice, Consumption and Equality, Vera Jourová, recalled that consumer confidence in banking services is low precisely because of the lack of transparency.
"These new rules will ensure that the offers of banks are more transparent and clear about the commissions.This is good news for consumers: they will not only make it easier to have an overview of the commissions, but they will also be able to compare between different offers", the Czech curator remarked.