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Minimum banking services accounts quadruple in two years

Today Banco de Portugal publishes on the Bank Customer Website updated information on the number of minimum banking services accounts up to the end of 2014.

There were 13,884 minimum banking services accounts at the end of last year, representing growth of over 40% year-on-year. This adds to the growth of 2013, in which the number of accounts nearly tripled.

At the start of 2013, the minimum banking services system was revised. Minimum banking services became available to all customers holding only one demand deposit account and the duties of credit institutions offering these services to the general public were strengthened.

The number of institutions offering minimum banking services increased in the middle of 2014 when two further institutions joined. There are currently eight credit institutions that have joined the system and offer minimum banking services, covering around 90 per cent of Portugal's demand deposit accounts:

  • Banco BIC Português
  • Banco BPI
  • Banco Comercial Português
  • Banco Santander Totta
  • Caixa Económica Montepio Geral
  • Caixa Geral de Depósitos
  • Crédito Agrícola (with Caixa Central and 84 associated mutual agricultural credit banks forming the integrated mutual agricultural credit scheme)
  • Novo Banco

What are Minimum Banking Services?

Minimum banking services include a set of banking services deemed essential, including the opening and maintenance of a demand deposit account and the provision of a debit card, as well as the possibility of making direct debits and domestic intra-bank transfers.

Any individual not holding a demand deposit account may access minimum banking services and those with a single demand deposit account may convert it into a minimum banking services account.

The credit institutions that offer minimum banking services may not charge commissions, expenses or other fees collectively in excess of 1% of the national minimum wage, currently EUR 5.05, per year for those services.

Lisbon, 9 March 2015