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Vivaldi prohibits banks from linking current and savings accounts

Savings book

To increase the mobility of savers, banks may no longer oblige their customers to open a current account with a new savings account.

Separating current and savings accounts was one of the recommendations given by the Belgian competition watchdog BMA in the autumn of last year to increase the mobility of Belgian savers.

In the meantime, there is consensus among government partners to put an end to the practice whereby banks oblige their customers to open a current account with the bank if they want to open a savings account there. Today there is a lot of discussion about whether banks are allowed to do this and the competition authority has no weapons to take action if it believes that a bank is going too far. The measure will be linked as an amendment to an existing bill by Minister of Economy Pierre-Yves Dermagne (PS).

It was previously decided on a ban on banks linking other products to mortgage loans.

Since January 15, a new protocol has also come into effect containing an agreement to prune the proliferation of savings accounts. The consumer organization Test-Aankoop labeled that protocol as an empty box and sees the abolition of the fidelity premium as the only real remedy to encourage saver mobility.


The Belgian competition watchdog BMA also advocated this last year. The saver receives a fidelity premium if he leaves his money in an account for twelve months. This premium makes it more difficult to compare accounts and makes savers less likely to switch savings accounts.

On the other hand, this creates stability for the banks, because for them savings are an important source of financing for loans to private individuals and companies. That is why it was important that both the National Bank and the banking supervisor FSMA see no problem in abolishing the link.

In the meantime, according to our information, there is a growing consensus to oblige banks to pay out the fidelity premium every six months. This means that the saver is less tied to his bank, but the stability of the banks is not jeopardized too much. There is no agreement yet.

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