Transparency of Βanking Τransactions
1. General information
The Bank of Greece, being responsible for ensuring the transparency of banking transactions, has laid down credit institutions' disclosure requirements to retail customers in Bank of Greece Governor's Act 2501/2002.
The basic principles of these requirements include, inter alia, obligations to:
- duly inform their customers on the nature and characteristics of the products and services provided by them and, in general, on the terms and conditions governing banking transactions, both before and after a contract is signed;
- respond, in a specified time, to customers' requests and complaints;
- publish clear and comprehensible advertisements; and
- properly train their employees in the provision of specialised services.
2. Regulatory framework
Bank of Greece Governor's Act 2501/2002 was clarified and supplemented by the following decisions of the Banking and Credit Committee (BCC):
1. BCC Decision 178/3/19.07.2004
This Decision explicitly stipulated that it is no longer possible to set administrative ceilings on bank rates, which are freely set on the basis of an assessment of risks, the conditions prevailing in financial markets and the overall obligations imposed on banks by the provisions governing their operation.
It also clarified matters relating to the method of setting floating rates, specific justification criteria and the reasonable amount of costs and expenses charged for the provision of banking services, the provision of periodic statements free of charge, etc.
2. BCC Decision 234/20/11.12.2006
This Decision prohibited the collection of inactivity fees on savings accounts, to the extent that they are higher than interest and reduce the balance of the deposit principal. It also specified that, in the event of unilateral change in any contractual term by the credit institution, information must be provided on an individual basis.
3. BCC Decision 243/2/16.05.20047
It prohibited the collection of management fees on savings accounts for at least five (5) over-the-counter transactions per month.
4. BCC Decisions 259/4/02.05.2008 and 263/2/21.07.2008
These Decisions provided clarifications on the presentation of key information in credit institutions' advertisements.