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Austrian Federal Economic Chamber, Division Bank and Insurance

The Austrian banking community understands the aim of EBA to allow standardised terms and definitions to be introduced for the widest number of services possible (option A). However, the Austrian banking community would prefer to look at services on a more granular level (option B). To distinguish the services at a greater level of detail will help consumers to compare services and to get more information and a better understanding of that service in advance. We therefore would prefer to use sub-categories to further enhance transparency and comparability.
The Austrian banking community agrees. We welcome the proposed list of Union standardised terms and definitions, there is no need for adding more services on an EU-level.
The Austrian banking community welcomes the use of standardised terms in the FID, the SOF and other information to consumers. We agree with the EBA’s approach to use a consumer friendly language. However, whilst using a consumer friendly language the terminology has to be clear and specific enough to provide legal certainty for banks and consumers alike.
In general the Austrian banking community agrees, though some terms and definitions need further explanation and clarification. We have found a few issues we recommend looking into:
• Providing a Debit Card / „Bereitstellung einer Debitkarte“
Although the well known term for debit cards in Austria is „Bankomatkarte“, it seems especially in the light of the reffering Art 10 para 5 Interchange Fee Regulation practicle to transpose to “Debitkarte”. Therefore the Austrian banking industry agrees with this term.
• Credit Transfer / „Überweisung“
The proposed term and definition of credit transfers does not specify the type of credit transfers. We therefore suggest to specify either that „SEPA“ credit transfers are meant or that only transactions within the country in its own currency are included. Thus, the definition could be as follows: „Der Kontoanbieter führt auf Anweisung des Kunden SEPA-Geldüberweisungen durch.“ or alternatively „Der Kontoanbieter führt auf Anweisung des Kunden Geldüberweisungen im eigenen Land (within the country) in der Landeswährung (in the currency of the country) von dem Konto des Kunden auf ein anderes Konto durch.“
Rationale: if there is no specification about the type of credit transfer, all types would have to be mentioned such as payments in other currencies to any given country, urgent payments, outside charges (especially with regards to directives for bank charges BEN/OUR) etc. These have very specific fee structures, often depending on the amount and currency of the payment and hardly ever are used by private customers. Therefore, depicting the whole diversity of credit transfer types would neither add to the brevity of the document nor to its comprehensibility.
• Direct Debit / „Lastschrift“
The proposed term does not specify the type of direct debit. Please add the term „SEPA“ or clarify within the definition that direct debits in the currency of the country are listed.
• Definition of Direct Debit / „Lastschrift“
The definition of direct debit is not accurate. When using a direct debit, one person withdraws funds from another person's bank account (there ist no credit transfer between account providers!). The payee instructs his or her bank to collect an amount directly from the payer's bank account.
We therefore suggest to use the following definition:
„Der Kontoinhaber (Zahler) ermächtigt mittels Mandat eine andere Person (Empfänger) Geld von dessen Konto einzuziehen. Das kontoführende Kreditinstitut wird vom Kontoinhaber ermächtigt, das Konto zu belasten. Der Betrag kann unterschiedlich hoch sein.“
• Providing a Credit Card / „Bereitstellung einer Kreditkarte“
Please clarify whether the annual costs of providing a credit card, the specific interest rate or both should be listed.
• Arranged Overdraft / „Kontoüberziehung“
Please clarify whether the costs for providing an overdraft, the specific interest rate or both should be listed.
The well known term for overdraft in Austria is „Überziehungsmöglichkeit“. Please replace „Kontoüberziehung“ by „Überziehungsmöglichkeit“ as this term is also used in Austrian consumer law.
• Standing Order / „Dauerauftrag“
When defining standing orders, we understand the execution of standing orders. Please clarify if the definition also includes the instruction/change/deletion of standing orders.
• Cash Withdrawal / “Bargeldabhebung”
The correct and well known term for cash withdrawals in Austria is „Bargeldbehebung“, please replace „Bargeldabhebung“ by „Bargeldbehebung“.
The Austrian banking community considers the draft to be suitable to achieve the aims of the directive. For details see answer to Q3.
The Austrian banking community would suggest a more flexible FID-structure. Otherwise Banks are not able to outline services that are included or partly included into pre-packaged account models, and to show customers the link of price differentiation for different channels, e.g. self-service terminals / ATM, cashiers desk, online banking / fully digital and customer behavior. Furthermore, there should be only a minimum of specifications like minimum font size or readable as a grey-scale-print.
There is another detail, we would like to emphasise: please clarify that the sequence and use of terms in the FID and templates should be the same as in the SoF to further enhance transparency. This is not the case in the proposed draft template.
In general, the Austrian banking community agrees.
But we don’t see any additional benefit from colored logos that cannot be printed on standard branch equipment, and as colour printouts mean additional costs.
The Austrian banking community considers the instructions to be suitable to achieve the aims of the directive.
The Austrian banking community considers the instructions to be clear and easy to follow.
In general, the Austrian banking community agrees. There is only one detail, we would like to emphasise: please clarify that the sequence and use of standardised terms in the SoF and templates should be the same as in the FID to further enhance transparency.
The Austrian banking community would suggest a more flexible SoF-structure. Otherwise banks are not able to outline services that are included or partly included into pre-packaged account models, and to show customers the link of price differentiation for different channels, e.g. self-service terminals / ATM, cashiers desk, online banking / fully digital and customer behavior. Furthermore, there should be only a minimum of specifications like minimum font size or readable as a grey-scale-print.
The common symbol proposed in the draft is considered suitable by the Austrian banking community. But we don’t see any additional benefit from colored logos that cannot be printed on standard branch equipment, and as colour printouts mean additional costs.
The Austrian banking community considers the instructions to be suitable to achieve the aims of the directive.
We suggest to include benefits or remunerated fees received by customers under the section “other services and monetary benefits” as such benefits are common practice in Austrian market (e.g. remuneration of account management fee depending on average deposit of payment account, certain number of transactions covered by payment account package - exceeding transactions need to be paid, cash refund in case number of ATM-withdrawals do not exceed a certain number)
Furthermore we recommend to keep defined heading, sub-headings and most common services even when they are not applicable in certain countries or for certain customers to achieve a higher degree of standardization and improve comparability that way.
The Austrian banking community considers the instructions to be clear and easy to follow.
There is only one detail, we would like to emphasise: please clarify whether the Union standardised terms must be used in the SoF template as well. The SoF template provided uses different terms (eg “payments” in the grey box) and extended terms as “credit transfer to another account in the country”.
The Austrian banking community recommends to use the Union standardised terms in the FID as well as in the SoF.
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Austrian Federal Economic Chamber, Division Bank and Insurance, legal representative of the entire Austrian banking industry
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legal trade association
Dr. Franz Rudorfer
A