• A further step is taken to promote social inclusion, guaranteeing access to essential financial services
  • Beneficiaries will be able to access the services of basic payment accounts: payment card, cashier access and a reasonable number of direct debits and transfers within the EU
  • The criteria that determine vulnerability are basically the same as those used to establish access to free justice

The Council of Ministers has approved the Royal Decree that regulates free access to basic payment accounts to people in situations of vulnerability or at risk of social exclusion. A further step is taken to guarantee the inclusion of these groups and their access to financial services that are considered essential to participate in the economic activity.

This standard is included within the European framework of the Basic Payment Accounts Directive which, in order to achieve full financial inclusion, establishes the The right of every citizen to have the services of a basic payment account at a reasonable price.

The basic payment accounts allow banking services such as having the payroll domiciled, having a debit card, making cash withdrawals at ATMs and transfers within the European Union. The maximum cost of this account may not be more than € 3 per month, in line with that of other European countries, and covers all services, with a limit for transfers and direct debits of 120 annual operations.

Requirements for free

To complete this framework, The Government establishes through the Royal Decree adopted today the requirements so that the most vulnerable population can access these accounts for free. To determine if you are in a situation of vulnerability, the income and the number of members of the family unit will be evaluated using the Multiple Effects Income Indicator (IPREM). The criterion used is basically the same as that used to establish access to free justice.

Likewise, the certification of the vulnerability situation has been simplified. It will be enough to prove the number of people that make up the family unit and the level of income. It is also established that, given the impossibility of providing this documentation, a report of the social services of the corresponding City Council will suffice.

Financial institutions have the obligation to inform and offer the opening of this account under the conditions established to those who request it and prove their situation.

Within 12 months of the entry into force of this Royal Decree, the Ministry of Economy and Business will make a report to evaluate access to basic payment accounts and the definition of a situation of special vulnerability or risk of financial exclusion and, if necessary, develop proposals to improve the applicable regulatory framework.

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