EC Proposal for a Payment Account Directive

On May 8, the European Commission published a proposal for a Payment Account Directive. The origins of the proposal lie in the discontent that the Commission has with respect to the provision of information by banks to their customers and the reluctance of banks to facilitate switching between account. In addition the Commission wishes to ensure the availability of a bank account with basic features to all European citizens.

The proposal addresses all Payment Service Providers and calls for uniform usage of terminology, the development of fee comparison websites and specific obligations with respect to fast switching between banks. Member states are also obliged to ensure that at least one provider of basic payment accounts exists in their country.

It is interesting to note the change of wording by the Commission. The proposal was previously labeled: Bank Account Directive, for example in  key action 12 of the Single Market Act 2 and the Commission Work Programme for 2013 and its focus was on full service bank deposit accounts. The current scope is wider however and also includes e-payment providers, central banks, postal giro institutions.

The EMA will draft a response with the goal to refocus this proposal to the full service bank account providers.