March 2, 2024

Taylor Daily Press

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Banks may offer only four other savings accounts

Banks may offer only four other savings accounts

From January 15 next year, banks will have to announce their new offers, and from April 30, customers will have to choose. The new formulas will then come into effect from July 1, according to the Belgian banking association Vibleven.

Limiting the number of savings accounts per bank should result in banks automatically charging the best rates, according to Bertrand, who talks about a “mini-revolution” in the savings scene. “With six accounts, banks can still adjust one account but not the others. The Secretary of State expects that the reduction in products will mean that customers can automatically enjoy a higher savings interest rate. Ultimately, there will be no room for passive savings accounts, which customers will still For years.

Categories

Savings accounts will also be divided into three categories, and banks will be allowed to offer a maximum of two accounts for each category. The total number of regulated savings accounts is limited to four. So banks will have to choose. This concerns regular savings accounts without conditions, savings accounts with an amount requirement – ​​for example an account into which a fixed amount can be deposited monthly – and savings accounts linked to a certain age (think youth accounts).

Banks will therefore still be able to offer different accounts, either with a higher base interest rate or a higher security premium. This does not change the fact that many “vague saving formulas” will be reduced, as Finance Minister Vincent van Petegem points out. “Banks will have to fight for their customers.”

This will be a big adjustment for the banks themselves, which will require a lot of work, according to Karel Baart, CEO of the University Banking Organization Wieblevein. At the same time, he acknowledges that it’s not always easy for today’s consumers to compare savings accounts. The protocol will therefore be a good thing for consumers, according to the CEO.

More transparency

In a protocol of greater transparency and simplicity regarding savings accounts, banks also pledge to communicate with their customers on a quarterly basis about the benefits they have received in recent months and their offers. They will also point to, among other things, the FSMA’s savings simulator, through which consumers can compare all savings accounts.

The FSMA will oversee the protocol. Regarding the banks’ commitment, Bertrand added: “There will be some form of control.”

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