The EU ensures transparency of bank fees and switching banks with ease
DG Just (The Commission's Directorate-General for Justice and Consumers is responsible for EU policy on justice, consumer rights and gender equality) continues implementing the ‘YOU’RE RIGHT’ (#YourEURight) awareness campaign to inform consumers of their bank account rights.
With harmonised legislation in all member states, the EU aim sat providing consumers with clear policies and directives, which promote transparency, so that they can make informed decisions and defend their rights. The ‘YOU’RE RIGHT’ (#YourEURight) campaign reminds consumers that they have the right to easily switch banks as well as the right to have access to the banking fees that apply.
More specifically, before opening an account, the bank should provide the consumer with a “fee information document” showing the fees related to most common services. In addition, the bank should present every customer with a “statement of fees”, at least annually, displaying all expenses incurred as well as the information regarding the interest rates linked to an opened account.
The 2014/92/ΕU Directive guarantees that the banks communicate their fees using a standardised terminology. This way consumers can evaluate their options, compare the different deals and therefore make informed decisions based on their needs. Consumers in Cyprus can use the ‘fees comparison tool’, displaying the fees and interest rates of different banks, which is available on the Ministry of Finance website (https://www.mof.gov.cy/mof/Comparefees/comparefees.nsf/index_gr/index_gr?opendocument).
Regarding switching banks, thanks to the ΕU the procedure is easy, fast and smooth. If a consumer wants to open a new account in a different bank then the new bank should carry out the switching process on behalf of the consumer, and the old bank should close the previous account. The consumer should inform the new bank about transferring any recurring payments to the new accountand the new bank will ensure that the old bank transfers data and cancels any standing orders. The new bank should inform third parties – such as the employer, social security provider and utilities providers – on the account switching.
The Cyprus Consumer Association encourages consumers to be informed about their rights and to file complaints to the competent authorities if their rights are violated. The EU has developed too l sand websites for this purpose, to empower and support consumers. In case of cross-border disputes, the offices of the European Consumer Centres Network can support.
Consumers in the EU have rights, which were created to protect them in all EU counties. Learn about your rights and how you can exercise them:
It’syour EU right! #yourEUright