Expert group to study obstacles to switching bank accounts

The Commission has announced that it will create an expert group on bank customer mobility. Making it easier to change bank accounts cross-border is one of the main objectives of the EU’s plans for a Single European Payments Area (SEPA).

When citizens want to switch bank accounts to another country, they still face major obstacles such as fees for opening and closing an account, switching costs etc. The Commission intends to address these obstacles and is therefore asking a group of financial experts from industry and academia to work out recommendations to remove the hurdles to bank customer mobility. Applicants for the expert group can send their expressions of interest  to the Commission’s Internal Market services.

From 1 January 2008 the EU wants to eradicate all barriers to making payments across borders and create a Single European Payments Area (SEPA). The Parliament is currently preparing its first reading of the Commission’s SEPA proposal of December 2005. The report of French MEP Jean-Paul Gauzès (PPE-DE) is expected to be voted in the Parliament’s Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee on 12 July. First reading in the plenary is foreseen for September.

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