Minimum service bank accounts skyrocket 25%

 In Banks, News

Minimum service bank accounts in Portugal increased 25% in 2020 with three out of four accounts resulting from customers changing their current accounts to minimum service accounts.

At the end of 2020 there were 129,586 accounts with minimum bank services active, representing a significant increase of 25% in relation to the end of 2019.
“Of the 30,073 minimum service bank accounts opened in 2020, it should be stressed that 75% resulted from changing from an ordinary existing current account at the institution involved, to a minimum service one,” said the Governor of the Bank of Portugal, Mário Centeno, during a presentation of a protocol with the Ministry of Work, Solidarity and Social Security which took place on Friday at the Bank of Portugal headquarters in Lisbon.
The head of Portugal’s central bank said, “Whilst the number of these (minimum service) accounts is still small, they have been growing in recent years,” highlighting that the “change is possible” by converting from a commercial bank service, the other 25% correspond to new accounts opened and introduced in the system.
According to the governor, there are 104 institutions in Portugal today that provide minimum bank service accounts, “But the number of services included has also been increased as well,” and said that it is “very significant, for example, that making transfers has been included in this package of services since the start of the year done through third party payment applications.”
On the other hand, the Adjunct Secretary of State for Work and Professional Training, Miguel Cabrita confirmed that minimum bank services constituted “a vital part of financial inclusion and literacy in order to understand the basic rules and mechanisms of the financial system”.
According to the secretary of State, access to minimum services “means that people who are or have been excluded for some reason from getting bank services, can have access to this mechanism.”
The minister said that the partnership with BdP “serves a diverse number of citizens, social groups, communities and generations,” like for example “young people, unemployed people, pensioners, people in difficulties and people at risk of exclusion”.
The Bank of Portugal and the Minister of Work, Solidarity and Social Security will begin an awareness campaign from this week promoting minimum banks services as part of the protocol of cooperation signed in July 2019 between the parties.