The European Commission is reportedly working on a set of proposals which will allow all European residents to open and access a basic bank account in any EU country.
Under the universal plans, consumers across the EU will be able to compare and open payment accounts, even if they have previously been declared bankrupt or are unemployed. Customers will also be able to compare charges and fees from different providers prior to opening an account.
Payment accounts allow customers to send and receive payments such as their salary or benefits, although facilities such as overdrafts and credit cards are not offered.
The EU said it hoped the plans will bring down the number of people in the EU who do not hold a basic bank account, estimated to be around 58 million.
Switching procedures are also being addressed, with plans to reduce the process between banks in different EU countries to 30 days.
EU internal market commissioner, Michael Barnier, said: "By making it easier to compare fees and change bank accounts, we also hope to see better offers from banks and lower costs."
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