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In practice, basic banking services refer to the customer being able to open a banking account, get a card for the account and use it for payment transfers. The basic payment account services also include online banking passwords, or a strong electronic recognition instrument if the bank already provides this service to others. The electronic recognition service can be denied only if the customer has, for example, no personal ID code or is not recorded in the population data system. In such cases, the bank must offer a more limited electronic recognition system that is suitable for the use of a basic payment account and related services.
The basic payment account service is offered equally and indiscriminately to all consumer-customers who are legal residents of an EEA state. This does not apply to companies or corporations even if a natural person is acting on their behalf.
A deposit bank can refuse to open a basic payment account and the provision of related payment services only and mainly because of reasons related to money laundering. For example, the reason may be the bank’s inability to verify the customer’s identity in a reliable manner. Deposit banks will process the consumer-customers application for a basic payment account without delay, and no later than within ten days from the application.
Should the deposit bank refuse to open a basic payment account for a consumer-customer or offer related payment services, the customer will be informed about the reason for the refusal without delay, in writing and free of charge. In this case, the bank must provide the customer with sufficient information on the procedure related to appeal.
The customer can terminate a basic payment account contract at any time and the deposit bank cannot charge anything for the termination.
The bank can terminate a customer’s basic payment account only in circumstances specified in the law, such as cases where the payment account has had no transactions within the last 24 subsequent months, or if the customer no longer resides legally in an EEA state. The bank will inform the customer about the termination of the account and the respective grounds, in writing and no later than two months prior to the entry in force of the termination.
The bank can terminate a basic payment account contract if the customer has intentionally used the payment account for illegal purposes, if the customer has provided wrong information or failed to provide information, and the correct information would have resulted in the turning down of the basic payment account application. The termination will enter into force with immediate effect.
The information regarding the termination or cancellation of the basic payment account, the bank must provide advice to the customer on the appeal procedure.
The customer can transfer their payment account to another service provider in a transfer service process by giving the necessary information to the new bank and authorising the new bank to request the information required for the transfer from the current service provider. The bank will provide more detailed information on the tasks of those participating in the account transfer, of the respective timeframe and the information required from the customer.
The banks can charge a reasonable fee for the basic banking services, in line with their price list. The Financial Supervisory Authority follows the pricing of basic banking services.
The bank will charge service fees based on the contract made with the customer. For example, the general terms and conditions of the account contract normally reserves the bank the right to make changes in the price list, by given advance information within a set time before the entry into force of the change. Once the customer has received this information, they can terminate the account contract or accept the changed price list. Normally, the approval does not require the customer to take any special action.
Sometimes, the customer may have a dormant account with a bank where they do not have any daily business. In such cases, the service fees charged by the bank on the basis of the contracts may cause the account balance to become negative. The bank has the right to register the service charges as a minus balance on the account but cannot charge any overdraft fee from the customer.
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