• Credit institutions will be obliged to offer universal access to a basic payment account to the consumer
  • The depositary must deliver a report on commissions to the new client and will update it annually
  • Companies with more than 500 workers must report social, environmental and anti-corruption issues
  • Listed corporations must report the diversity policy applied in the election of the board of directors

The Council of Ministers has approved two standards that involve the transposition of two European directives into the Spanish legal framework. These are the Royal Decree-Law on Basic Payment Accounts and the Royal Decree-Law on Disclosure of Non-Financial Information. The first Royal Decree-Law guarantees the universal right of access to a basic payment account, which must provide a series of services such as direct debit, use of cards or transfers. For all accounts, the standard makes it easier for the customer to know the commissions he pays and to compare them in order to improve transparency. The second Royal Decree-law obliges large companies and business groups to report on social, diversity, environmental aspects, respect for human rights and the fight against corruption within the management report that accompanies the annual accounts.

The Royal Decree-Law (RDL) of Basic Payment Accounts, transfer of accounts and comparability of commissions translates Directive 2014/92 / EU on these matters into Spanish legislation. The objective is to improve financial inclusion and strengthen the European market. To this end, the universal right of access to a basic payment account is guaranteed, transparency and comparability of fees applied to payment accounts are improved, and the transfer of payment accounts is expedited. The basic payment account is a new banking product created by the European Directive, which will be denominated in euros and will facilitate access to a series of services such as opening, using and closing the account, depositing funds, withdrawing cash in the entity or in ATMs, direct debit of receipts, use of debit or prepaid cards and transfers. These accounts will have a maximum commission to be set by the Ministry of Economy, Industry and Competitiveness.

Credit institutions may deny access to basic payment accounts in highly valued cases. For example, if the potential client does not provide the information required by the entity based on the level of risk of money laundering or terrorist financing as provided by national legislation or if its opening is contrary to the interests of national security or public order. It can also be denied when the client is already the owner of an account that allows them to perform the same services. The Ministry of Economy will establish, by ministerial order, the maximum limit to apply in this type of account.

For all accounts in general, the RDL establishes the right to transfer to or within another entity, an obligation that affects all payment service providers, not just credit institutions. The transfer will be carried out quickly, quickly and efficiently in a maximum period of 13 days. Payment service providers may deny the transfer of the balance of a payment account to those customers who have outstanding obligations in that account. Furthermore, it goes beyond the Directive allowing consumers to cancel accounts within 24 hours. The exception is that the user had contracted with the payment service provider another financial product or service for whose management it is necessary to keep a payment account open with the payment service provider.

Regarding commissions and also applicable to all accounts, the RDL establishes that payment service providers will provide the client or potential client with an information document of the commissions in good time. In addition, they must provide you each year and free of charge, a statement of all the commissions they have incurred for the services associated with a payment account. The Bank of Spain may establish the requirements that both documents must meet, which must be precise, brief and with a clear structure. You will have a website, free of charge, that allows you to compare the commissions applied by payment service providers.

For its part, the Royal Decree-law that transposes the Directive on the disclosure of non-financial information and on diversity modifies the Commercial Code and the revised text of the Capital Companies Law and the Accounts Auditing Law. The objective is to increase the non-financial information in the management report that accompanies the individual and consolidated annual accounts in large companies regarding social, environmental, human resources, respect for human rights and the fight against corruption.

The information will refer to measures taken to promote gender equality, working conditions, social dialogue, respect for trade union rights, safety in the workplace and measures for dialogue and protection with local communities. Regarding environmental issues, companies will have to provide detailed information on the current and foreseeable effects of their activities on the environment, health and safety, energy use, greenhouse gas emissions, water consumption and pollution. atmospheric.

In the area of ​​human rights, the non-financial information statement should include information on the potential and actual impacts of the company's activity in this regard, as well as the provisions applied to prevent abuses and measures to mitigate, manage and repair them. In relation to the fight against corruption and bribery, companies should include information on the internal control procedures and resources dedicated to preventing these behaviors.

These regulatory changes affect large companies with consideration of public interest entity whose average number of workers during the year is greater than 500 and who during two consecutive years meet at least two of the following circumstances: that the total of the asset items is more than 20 million euros, that the net amount of its annual turnover exceeds 40 million euros or that the average number of employed workers is more than 250.

For listed companies it is also required that they include, within the annual corporate governance report, the policies of diversity of competences and points of view applied in the election of their board of directors; specifically, those related to age, gender, disability, training or professional experience.

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