Payment accounts: Commission modifies proposed financial sanction for Spain's failure to fully implement payment accounts rules

Met dank overgenomen van Europese Commissie (EC), gepubliceerd op donderdag 17 mei 2018.

This confirms the Commission's decision from October 2017, but takes into account the partial transposition of the Directive reached in the meantime.

The Commission will call on the Court to impose a daily penalty of € 48,919.20 for Spain from the day of the judgement until this Directive is fully enacted and in force in national law.

The EU rules on payment accounts are essential to ensure consumers benefit from transparent payment accounts in a competitive and inclusive market. The Directive gives all legal EU residents the right to a basic payment account for a reasonable fee, regardless the place of residence. It also improves the transparency of payment account fees and makes it easier to compare and switch. Member States' laws, regulations and administrative provisions necessary to comply with the Directive had to enter into force by 18 September 2016 and the Commission had to be informed immediately.

Next steps

In case the transposition remains incomplete and the Court of Justice of the EU confirms the Commission's view, the daily penalty would have to be paid from the date of the judgment or a later date set by the Court until the transposition is complete. The final amount of the daily penalty will be decided by the Court, but this cannot exceed the Commission's proposal.

Background

By sending a letter of formal notice to the Spanish authorities in November 2016, the European Commission formally requested Spain to fully implement the EU Payment Accounts Directive (Directive 2014/92/EU). After receiving a reply from the Spanish authorities, the Commission decided to send a reasoned opinion to Spain in April 2017. Then, the Commission decided to refer Spain to the Court in October 2017.

To date, complete transposition has not been formally notified by the Spanish authorities, which leads the Commission to conclude that the EU Payment Accounts Directive is, at present, not transposed completely into their national law.

In practice, under Article 260(3) of Treaty on the Functioning of the EU (TFEU) if a Member State fails to transpose an EU Directive into national law within the required deadline, the Commission may call on the Court of Justice of the EU to impose financial sanctions. The penalties take into account:

  • the seriousness of the infringement,
  • the duration of the infringement,
  • "n" factor (which varies between Member States and takes into account their Gross domestic product, GDP),
  • a flat-rate amount, which for this infringement was set at €680 per day when the decision to refer the matter to the Court was taken,
  • the deterrent effect reflected in the ability to pay of the Member State concerned.

For More Information

IP/18/3453