Friday, 1 June 2012

There must be a bank (account) for everyone?

Yesterday the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee of the European Parliament took a potentially very important step towards effective inclusion of all European citizens in contemporary markets- By a vote of 36 to 2, the Committee has urged the European Commission to propose by January 2013 a European legislation establishing a legal right to a  basic bank account. 
The rapporteur said that having a basic payment account is nowadays necessary to lead a "normal" life. Given the importance of the subject and the reluctance of national legislators and (above all) private actors to proceed in the direction of universal access. legislative action should not be postponed. The proposal, however, does not seem to aim at imposing the establishment in all legal systems of a no-frills no-costs account; it could be questioned, as a consequence, whether the take up of basic accounts on the side of consumers would significantly increase as a consequence of European action.