Fineco accounts over 100 thousand euros forcibly closed? The surrender of the bank

Fineco takes a step back and, after announcing the closing of the “inactive” accounts over 100 thousand euros, opts for an alternative solution, which does not provide for any termination of the relationship, under certain conditions, and adheres to the requests of theAntitrust which, for this reason, had started an investigation on 1 April last. The online bank will no longer close accounts above 100 thousand euros and has also made a series of commitments towards customers.

The case

Fineco, with a letter to current account holders, sent on March 18, 2021, had in fact communicated a unilateral change in the relationship, foreseeing, in the presence of a liquidity balance equal to or greater than 100,000 euros and in the absence of investments or related loans to the account, withdrawal from the relationship and closure of the account.

The findings of the AGCM

Following this move, theAGCM (antitust), on 1 April it announced the start of an in-depth examination of the issue. The authority, in fact, objected that, with this contractual modification, FinecoBank it could exert pressure on account holders to get them to subscribe to financial services or asset management services.

The Authority also contested the onerous economic conditions of the change of relationship, the result of which was to divert liquidity exceeding 100,000 euros towards more profitable forms of financing or investment for the bank, leaving the only alternative for customers to close the current account . An alternative that the AGCM considered penalizing for account holders, considering the costs borne by them for transferring the account to another credit institution.

The bank’s new commitments

The bank’s first commitment is to don’t end the relationship anymore, but only for account holders without an account in another credit institution, who would suffer to the maximum extent the effects of the termination of the relationship.

In the event that the account holders without another current account, following the letter of March, had already made loans or investments, Fineco will reimburse the commissions paid for the execution of investment orders and will grant the possibility to repay the loans without charges or penalties.

FinecoBank will also offer customers interactive online courses of “Financial education”, to increase their knowledge and skills on the advantages and disadvantages deriving from maintaining liquidity in current accounts.

The bank will then implement a computer system daily reporting of customers who meet these characteristics (unproductive stock exceeding 100 thousand euros) and will illustrate the various options to avoid the withdrawal that cannot take place before 90 days:

  • individual re-negotiation of current account costs according to predefined price lists and without discrimination;
  • free transfer of excess stock to other credit institutions;
  • use of excess inventory for the free purchase of Italian government bonds and other financial instruments (shares, bonds, ETFs, etc.) via the Fineco online platform.

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