The European Commission this week published a report on charges for financial services. The Commission in particular criticises the inadequate information policy by the banks. Austria performs particularly badly with respect to transparency and costs.
A glance at the average annual charges for a maintaining a current account shows: at € 253, Italy is the most expensive, followed by Spain with € 178 and France with € 154. At € 140 Austria ranks fourth. The most inexpensive place to hold an account is Bulgaria: here banks charge about € 27.

In case of two thirds of the banks examined in the EU, charges were presented in such an ambiguous way that the authors of the report had to obtain additional information in order to establish the real costs of account maintenance.

Meglena Kuneva, EU Commissioner for Consumer Protection strongly criticised the practice of many banks to provide incomplete information: “There are many indications that basic principles of consumer protection have been infringed.” Charlie McCreevy, Internal Market Commissioner, adds that caused by the intransparency and the fragmentation of the EU, banking market consumers would miss out on the advantages of an EU internal market.

Further information:

More information on the Commission Report