The European Commission has launched a self-regulatory initiative to ensure that the costs of bank accounts are transparent and comparable for consumers. The first chance for consumers to test the results should come in early 2012 when the practical solutions to be identified by the industry in mid-2011 should be in place. This initiative follows a study in bank fees published in September 2009 which show that opaque bank fees made it very difficult for consumers to compare offers. The study also identified market fragmentation and excessive prices paid by consumers and low customer mobility. The Commission's initiative is designed to address three core problems:
- complex bank fees terminology;
- the lack of comparability of banking fees;
- the absence of basic information on bank fees.