On 23 July 2014, the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union adopted Directive 2014/92/EU on the comparability of fees related to payment accounts, payment account switching and access to payment accounts with basic features (PAD).
PAD lays down :
(a) rules concerning the transparency and comparability of fees charged to consumers on their payment accounts held within the Union;
(b) rules concerning the switching of payment accounts within a Member State and rules to facilitate cross-border payment account-opening for consumers, and
(c) the framework for the rules and conditions according to which Member States are required to guarantee a right for consumers to open and use payment accounts with basic features in the Union.
On 16 June 2017, Cyprus law (Ν.64(Ι)/2017) on The comparability of fees related to payment accounts, payment account switching and access to payment accounts (only available in Greek) transposed the PAD into the Cypriot legal framework and was published in the Official Gazette of the Republic of Cyprus. The Central Bank of Cyprus (CBC) is the designated competent authority for ensuring the implementation of Cyprus law (N64.(I)/2017) in Cyprus.
On 20 August 2020 and 29 April 2021, The comparability of fees related to payment accounts, payment account switching and access to payment accounts Amending Laws (Ν. 124(Ι)/2020 and Ν. 76(I)/2021 respectively) were published, in order to provide for the right of consumers to alternative dispute resolution and to clarify that credit institutions must provide the Informative Leaflet (only available in Greek).
Consumers have access, free of charge, to a website comparing fees charged by payment service providers (only available in Greek) for at least the services included in the final list referred to in Article 3(5) of the PAD. The Ministry of Finance is responsible for operating this website.
Fee information document, glossary and statement of fees
On 30 June 2017, the CBC issued a Directive on fees and other information related to payment accounts (Κ.Δ.Π. 225/2017) (only available in Greek) to ensure that payment service providers provide the consumer with the following:
(a) a fee information document and a glossary, made available online as well as on paper, and
(b) a statement of all fees incurred, at least annually and free of charge, provided on paper at least upon the request of the consumer.
On 21 September 2018, the CBC issued a Directive on the final list of the most representative services linked to a payment account (Κ.Δ.Π. 264/2018) for integrating and publishing into a final list the standardised terminology for the most common services linked to a payment account, in line with Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2018/32 of 28 September 2017 supplementing Directive 2014/92/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council with regard to regulatory technical standards for the Union standardised terminology for most representative services linked to a payment account.
Switching Services Directive
On 2 February 2018, and in line with Article 11 of Cyprus law (N.64(I)/2017), the CBC issued a Switching Services Directive (Κ.Δ.Π.38/2018) (only available in Greek).
Payment Accounts Switching Code
The CBC approved the application of the Association of Cyprus Banks (ACB) to issue the 'Code of practice on Switching Personal Accounts between Banks' for the establishment of alternative measures. For more information, please refer to the website of ACB.
Decrees on reasonable fees
On 23 October 2020, the Minister of Finance, adopting the CBC’s proposal, issued Decrees by virtue of section 19 of The comparability of fees related to payment accounts, payment account switching and access to payment accounts Law, for setting reasonable fees: (Κ.Δ.Π. 488/2020, Κ.Δ.Π. 489/2020 and Κ.Δ.Π. 490/2020 - only available in Greek).
The Consumer Protection Service of the Ministry of Energy, Commerce, Industry and Tourism, following consultation with the Ministry of Finance and the CBC developed an Informative Leaflet for Payment Accounts with Basic Features.
Opinions and Press Releases of the European Banking Authority (EBA)
11 March 2022: The EBA called on financial institutions to ensure compliance with sanctions against Russia following the invasion of Ukraine and to facilitate access to basic payment accounts for refugees.