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Office of Competition and Consumer Protection

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Consumer, check if you are not overpaying for your account

< previous | next > 05.01.2021

Consumer, check if you are not overpaying for your account
  • The bank should inform the consumer about increases in fees for account maintenance, transfers, withdrawals from ATMs and other related operations.
  • Customers who do not actively use a bank account may consider using a basic  payment account (payment account with basic features).

Consumer, please check what fees are currently charged by your bank for various operations – keeping an account, transfers, withdrawing cash from an ATM and whether your bank has not increased them in the last year. “We observe that banks raise fees related to account maintenance or transfers. I encourage consumers to check the current rates for banking operations. Seniors who pay bills at the cash desk should pay attention to whether they are charged more for their operations. I also encourage people who make online transfers to remain cautious and vigilant. If the fees have risen, it is worth considering changing the bank account, and if we run accounts in several banks – reducing their number,” explains Tomasz Chróstny, President of UOKiK.

Any change in the amount of fees and commissions should be presented to the consumer on a durable medium – it should be communicated by sending a regular letter, e-mail or via the electronic banking system, provided that the latter meets the statutory characteristics of a durable medium. It is important that the information is communicated to us via a durable medium that enables us, as consumers, to reproduce the information for a certain period of time and in an unchanged form, i.e. without interference or modification of the content by an entity that generated the information (e.g. the bank).

The choice of a proper manner of providing the said information should be agreed upon with the customer and adapted to their ability to read this information (e.g. not every customer is able to play a CD/DVD). At least once a year, banks must inform customers of the amount of fees due charged. 

Do you pay a lot of money every month for keeping the account, but rarely use it? Or maybe you do not have an account at all, but are consider setting it up? The alternative is the Basic Payment Account (BPA), which banks and cooperative savings and credit unions must offer to customers as part of their product portfolio since August 2018. Customers can set it up and run free of charge, and the financial institution does not charge fees for basic services, up to certain limits.

“The Basic Payment Account is a good proposal, especially for seniors and persons with low income. A few or a dozen or so zlotys' monthly account maintenance fee is a major expense for them, and they use the account to make few transfers or withdraw cash from an ATM. In accordance with Polish and EU law, banks and Cooperative Credit and Savings Unions are obliged to make this option available to consumers free of charge. We have been constantly monitoring the situation on the market and if irregularities occur, I will take appropriate measures to safeguard the rights and interests of consumers,” says Tomasz Chróstny, the President of the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection.

The Basic Payment Account may be opened by anyone who does not have another account in the Polish currency. If you have a paid account, you can, however, close it and submit a request for opening the BPA which, as regards its basic, limited functions, is free of charge. The Bank has no right to refuse you. Please remember that the BPA has limited functionality, yet it offers basic services.

Consumer support:

Phone: +48 801 440 220 or +48 22 290 89 16 – consumer helpline
Email: [SCODE]cG9yYWR5QGRsYWtvbnN1bWVudG93LnBs[ECODE]
Consumer advocates – in your town or district

Additional information for the media:

UOKiK Press Office
Pl. Powstańców Warszawy 1, 00-950 Warszawa, Poland
Phone +48 695 902 088, +48 22 55 60 246
E-mail: [SCODE]Yml1cm9wcmFzb3dlQHVva2lrLmdvdi5wbA==[ECODE]
Twitter: @UOKiKgovPL

Attached files

 

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