Guarantee access to a basic payment account to homeless people

The EU Payment Accounts Directive1 was adopted in July 2014 and took effect on 18 September 2016. One of its key elements is providing the right to a basic payment account irrespective of a citizen's place of residence or financial situation. The directive provided all EU consumers, without being residents of the country where the credit institution is located and irrespective of their financial situation, with a right to open a payment account that allows them to perform essential operations, such as receiving their salary, pensions and allowances or payment of utility bills etc. Member States should therefore have put in place mechanisms to assist consumers with no fixed address, asylum seekers and consumers who are not granted a residence permit, but whose expulsion is impossible for legal or factual reasons, to fully benefit from this Directive. If properly implemented, homeless people would certainly benefit from these mechanisms. Indeed, for people who lack a place to live and do not have a reference address, access to a salary or social benefits is often dependant on owning a bank account.

FEANTSA Position: Guarantee Access to a Basic Payment Account to Homeless People