Banco de Portugal (BdP), through a circular letter, clarifies banks regarding the implementation of the new rules regarding minimum banking services, payment and credit requests, which came into effect on January 1.
The minimum banking services account is a checking account that allows its holder to access a range of banking services considered essential at a reduced cost.
Regarding the extension of the minimum level of banking services, the holder of the minimum banking services account, in addition to the ability to make five transfers per month, with a maximum of 30 euros, without additional costs, each operation also benefits, like any other customer – prohibition of collecting commissions stipulated On her in law. That is, the prohibition of charging fees for the provision of payment services and the execution of transactions at ATMs
Regarding the commissioning of transactions through payment applications managed by third parties, BdP Bank says that “a computer program or equivalent is loaded on a device that allows the account holder to be considered a“ payment application managed by a third party ”or from the payment card, one execution and authentication of The least of these payment transactions: instant transfer and receipt of funds deposited into a payment account or card; making payments; issuing virtual cards; or issuing cash withdrawal codes from Multibanco network ATMs. “
The regulator informs banks that the term “transfers” should be considered to include, in addition to SEPA + credit transfers (conventional and instant), card-based transactions, which include transfers One to one“.
It then clarifies that the cap of 30 euros per transaction, in which the charging of commissions is prohibited, applies to any transactions made through payment applications operated by third parties, except for those in which, regardless of their value, commissions may not be legally charged.
In the case of transfers made through payment applications managed by third parties, “commission collection limits are considered alternative to each other,” says the British Development Bank, which gives as an example the case in which institutions can charge a commission for executing a transfer of € 31, but it will not He can claim any commission to be paid to a consumer who makes 25 transfers of six euros in a one-month period
Organizations can define exemptions in the context of commissioning transactions that are made through the payment apps they manage and they can also set separate fees for transactions made through their payment apps and transactions that take place through payment apps that are operated by third parties, provided that Observing the principle of proportionality and not exceeding the differentiation between commissions that is necessary to prevent specific risks and protect stability
Financial and operational aspects of payment services, ”BdP explains.
Mandatory accounts accompanying the granting of mortgage loans
In cases where opening or maintaining a checking deposit account is required as a condition of entering into or renegotiating mortgage credit contracts and mortgage contracts, credit-granting institutions are obligated to accept the reference, by the bank’s client, from a resident’s account at another credit institution. This obligation applies to credit agreements concluded after January 1, 2021, as well as to the renegotiation of credit agreements that occur after that date, regardless of when these credit agreements were entered into, as the supervisor explains.
Regarding the prohibition of charging fees under mortgage loans, mortgage loans, and consumer credit contracts, banks are prohibited from charging fees for processing benefits in cases where the institution is “processing benefits through debiting to a demand deposit account located in that institution, but also in situations.” In which third parties participate in the processing of installments (for example, by direct debit to an account based in a trust other than the lending institution), regardless of whether there is a partnership relationship between these entities and the lending institution.
“The prohibition of imposing commissions for renegotiating credit agreements with consumers that has been established now includes the amendment of contractual clauses, related or not related to reviewing financial terms, that occur during the term of these contracts,” reveals the British Development Bank.
In the circular letter, the British Development Bank reveals its understandings regarding the application of legal certificates that came into effect on January 1, 2021, which changed the rules applicable to the calculation of minimum banking services, to the commissioning of operations executed through payment applications that are operated by third parties, and credit Mortgage and Consumer Credit
This circular letter seeks to clarify the suspicions raised by the banks.