Banka Slovenije sets new fees for basic payment account
Banka Slovenije has updated the method for calculating fees for the basic payment account, but the level of the fee still depends on the consumer’s socioeconomic situation. Those eligible for cash social assistance and the social security supplement will be charged a maximum of EUR 1.47 per month for a basic payment account. For other consumers the new maximum fee is EUR 4.90 per month. Banka Slovenije should also reiterate that commercial banks are free to charge lower fees, or even provide basic payment accounts free of charge.
Any consumer lawfully resident in the EU has the right to a payment account with basic features. Opening an account of this type needs to be specifically requested, as the application to open a personal (current) account does not also constitute an application to open a basic payment account. An application to open a basic payment account may be refused by a commercial bank, albeit not necessarily, if (i) the consumer already has a payment account at a Slovenian bank, (ii) the consumer is in breach of a contractual obligation to the bank or has been in the last three years, or (iii) the bank has information that a record of unexecuted orders for enforcement or forcible recovery has been established in a payment account of the consumer. A commercial bank is required to refuse the application when opening a basic payment account would entail a breach of legislation governing AML/CFT. Consumers with no fixed address, asylum-seekers, and consumers whose residence permit has not been granted but whose expulsion is impossible for legal or factual reasons are also entitled to such accounts.
While the level of the fees for managing a personal (current) account is a matter for the individual bank, the maximum fee for a basic payment account is set by Banka Slovenije.
As of 1 June this will be EUR 4.90 per month, the average of the lowest fees charged by banks for the services covered by the basic payment account. The reduced fee for those in the weakest socioeconomic position and eligible for cash social assistance will be EUR 1.47 per month, which is 30% of the full fee. The new maximum fees will therefore be significantly lower than the current fees of EUR 6.28 and EUR 2.35.
In the words of Banka Slovenije, reducing the maximum fee could also bring about a rise in the number of basic payment accounts in existence, particularly among the most socioeconomically disadvantaged consumers, where take-up remains low. According to the figures from the 12 banks who answered our enquiries, there were 846 basic payment accounts open in early March of this year. In our judgment, this is partly attributable to consumers’ low awareness of the right to a basic payment account, and to legal arrangements that allow banks to refuse applications on the grounds of creditworthiness or factors related to AML/CFT.
More information about the basic payment account can be found on the link.
The press release on issues in connection with the closing of accounts of foreign nationals and firms under foreign ownership can be found on the link.