Finansinspektionen has invited several banks to a roundtable discussion on Friday, 20 May, on the right to open payment accounts. The background is that the number of complaints FI is receiving from consumers who are being denied a payment account is increasing. Some also have their accounts blocked or closed.
"This is a significant problem", says Karin Lundberg, the executive director of the Banking section at FI. "Without an account, it is difficult to carry out daily transactions since it is not possible to send or receive payments or transfer money".
Danske Bank, Handelsbanken, ICA Banken, Länsförsäkringar Bank, Nordea, SEB, and Swedbank, as well as the Swedish Bankers' Association and the Swedish Savings Banks Association, have been invited to the meeting, which will be held at FI's premises.
FI and the Swedish Consumers' Banking and Finance Bureau receive many complaints from consumers who have been denied an account or have had their accounts blocked or closed. The complaints have been increasing for several consecutive years. Many of the consumers who have called have said that they were not given an opportunity to have the decisions reviewed by the bank or that they have not been referred to a complaints manager. Some say that the bank did not even process their application once the staff was informed that the consumer had been denied by another bank.
The EU's Payment Account Directive, which has now been implemented by the Payment Services Act, grants consumers residing in the EEA the right to open a payment account with basic functions on the condition that there are no specific grounds on which to deny the account.
At the end of 2020, FI published an evaluation of the Payment Account Directive's implementation, and this year we have highlighted this topic in our Consumer Protection Report.