MEPs today backed new EU legislation on the right to a basic bank account. Parliament's Rapporteur on the file, GUE/NGL MEP Jürgen Klute, welcomed the outcome:

“Today's vote means that anyone legally residing in the EU will have the right to open a basic payment account, and this right cannot be denied on the grounds of nationality or place of residence. A basic bank account is essential for daily life in modern society so this is vital to tackling the marginalisation and difficulties faced by those who at present are not able to have one for whatever reason. Banks should not be entitled to exclude citizens from society by denying them access to regular payment services,” he said.

“Under the rules, charges and stipulations for all payment accounts will have to be plainly set out and straightforward to compare, and holders should be able to switch easily to another payment account that offers better conditions. Even the Commission has admitted that self-regulation initiatives on the matter have failed. Parliament has been asking the Commission for legislative action in favour of the financially excluded and has therefore dealt promptly with this file. I am happy that we have succeeded to adopt it less than one year after the Commission published the proposal.”

Vote result: + 603; – 21; Abstention 51.

Press conference with Jürgen Klute today at 17:30, EP Strasbourg Press room.

GUE/NGL Press contacts:
David Lundy +32 470 85 05 09
Gay Kavanagh +32 473 84 23 20
Emily Macintosh +32 470 85 05 08
European United Left/Nordic Green Left
European Parliamentary Group

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