Yesterday, the European Parliament voted in favour of draft legislation giving anyone legally residing within the EU a right to open a bank account. I quote from the Parliament's press release:
'"In today's world, consumers as well as the retail sector depend upon access to modern payment services. Providing electronic payment services is not very costly, and they can make consumers' lives easier, boost business efficiency and help to modernize our economies. Parliament therefore considers it urgently necessary to require banks to provide these services and empower consumers to make informed choices. Parliament has dealt promptly with this file, and it is now up to EU member states to do likewise, so that we can conclude work on this file in spring next year", said lead MEP Jürgen Klute (GUE/NGL, DE), after the vote.'
See also BEUC's press releases: 'Bank account plans: Timid steps towards more transparency' and 'EU paves way for the bank accounts consumers actually need'