The Commission has published its proposal for a Directive on transparency and accountability of payment account fees, payment account switching and access to a basic payment account. Key elements of the proposals require:
- payment service providers to give consumers statements on fees following standard terminology and formats;
- each Member State to have at least one independent comparison website;
- payment service providers to complete switching requests within 15 days for domestic switches or 30 days for cross-border switches and to provide consumers with clear information on switching; and
- Member States to allow any EU national to open an account in their jurisdiction and to ensure at least one payment service provider in their jurisdiction offers a basic account with access for all consumers to defined services.
These “basic” accounts will not have overdraft or lending facilities but will allow withdrawals and transfers and will provide a debit card.