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ING Bank NV Netherlands

ING Netherlands is in favor of an even more high level abstraction:
• Payments Account – including incoming transactions and all information services related to balance and transaction information,
• Payments Services – related to the possession of the payment instrument by the customer,
• Payments Services – related to the use of the payment instrument by the customer,

This approach will enable the consumers to have the most logical view on the existing payment services, which addresses in our view the most important requirement of the Payments Account Directive (PAD) being transparency for the consumer. In the same manner this approach gives the necessary space for new payment initiatives as mentioned in recital 10.

ING Bank Netherlands has a preference for ‘option A’ which proposes to focus on the services which are the most commonly used by consumers in relation to their payment account and generate the highest cost for consumers, both overall as well as per unit , based on the criteria defined by the EBA in its Guidelines . This option will ensure that the standardised terminology for the most representative services linked to the payment accounts are clear, accurate and complement the information the consumer will get under all circumstances. It needs indeed to be kept in mind that besides the FID the consumer will also receive the banks’ complete price list. For that reason the FID does not need to be exhaustive in each category.
ING Netherlands doubts if the current list will have the result the EBA is expecting.
In our view, some services that the EBA has selected for standardised terms and definitions are not adapted to the common practices at EU level, not corresponding to services which are the most commonly used by consumers in relation to their payment account and/or are not generating the highest cost for consumers. Integrating those services which are not all commonly used at EU level in the standardised terms and definitions could lead to misleading interpretations in the definition of the services and in their comparison, by presenting some services in certain countries as comparable when they are not.

Further on we have noticed that
• The definitions of ‘provision of a credit card with the payment account’ and the reference to ‘overdraft on a payment account’ are not consistent. The credit card comes with an arrangement on overdraft provision – if not this will not be an credit card.
• We question whether the ‘provision of a credit card with the payment account’ and the ‘overdraft on a payment account’ can be considered as a basic service linked to a payments account. In the Netherlands a credit card is an optional payment product, certainly not commonly used.
• The ‘cash withdrawal’ overlaps the parts of ‘provision of a debit card with the payment account’ and ‘provision of a credit card with the payment account’ where those payments services are describing the use of the payment instrument. In the Netherlands a cash withdrawal is normally performed at the ATM using a debit card. Cash withdrawals without using a credit or debit card do not exist in the Netherlands.

The list of standardized terms and definitions should meet the PAD’s objectives to result in an accurate, clear and comparable FID. Our conclusion is that the EBA proposal does not meet those objectives for The Netherlands!
It is also important to guarantee a consistency within the wording used in the EBA ITS and the PAD.
Further we advise to incorporate some degree of flexibility on local level in the definition of those terminologies.
We consider that the Directive is mainly aimed to improve transparency and comparability for customers. The requirements related to the comparability should, however, mainly be focused on the comparability website of the Member state in question. In the Netherlands we consider it not realistic and not consumer friendly to consider scenario’s where a customer performs a comparison of different Fee Information Documents of different account servicing payment service providers by himself by placing those paper-based documents next to each other! Consumer friendly digital comparability of fees and services is in our vision the main function of the comparability website of the Member State in question.
The current list will have in our opinion a negative impact on customer satisfaction and should therefore be reviewed thoroughly. Modifications should be piloted first in the Netherlands under the guidance of the competent authority.

Considering that the resulting integration of the EU standardized terminology into each national provisional list will be challenging, we would strongly support that some degree of flexibility on local level should be provided in the definition of those terminologies.

Par. 44 on page 15 of EBA’s CP states that the terms and definitions of the EU-standardized terminology (stated in the official languages of the EU Member States) as mentioned in the Annex of the Draft RTS on Union standardized terminology under Article 3(4) of Directive 2014/92/EU (page 45 – 74 of EBA’s CP) will have to be integrated into the national provisional lists. The resulting terms will have to be used in the FID, the SoF, “and in all contractual, commercial and marketing information to consumers”. We believe it is disproportionate to require AS PSPs to incorporate these terms and definitions not only in the FID and SoF, but also in all other contractual, commercial and marketing information to consumers. We believe that the main focus should lay on the FID (incl. glossary) and SoF. We assume that this requirement of art. 6(1) of the PAD is limited to that contractual, commercial and marketing information that specifically relates to the AS PSP’s payment account-related offering. We further assume that a reference to the FID (incl. its glossary) and SoF will be regarded as sufficient in this context. We must assume that a reference will be suitable, elsewhere the FID and SoF will end up in a long and exhausting document (not meeting article 4.2.a) which will raise costs for both ASPS’s and customers.

In par. 46 and 47 on page 16 of its CP, EBA explains that it has chosen to use the third person in defining the Union standardized terminology and its definitions. However, for a text to be optimally comprehensive for consumers, most AS PSPs in the Netherlands use the first and/or second person in their communication (incl. in terms and conditions) with consumers. Using the third person in consumer communication is often regarded as being ‘artificial’ or ‘bureaucratic’ here. We therefore believe that it should be left to the AS PSP’s to decide on whether the first, second or third person is used in the national list of the most representative services linked to a payment account. We do not expect that this will have significant negative impact for EU-consumers when comparing payment account-related offerings of AS PSPs located several EU Member States.

Finally, we expect that AS PSPs’ compliancy with the PAD-requirements on the standardized terms and definitions will - unfortunately – add limited value for consumers in the Netherlands. It may even lead to consumer confusion, because consumers are well known with the current naming of the services in the AS PSPs terms and conditions, but not (yet) with the glossary as prescribed in Art. 4 (4) of the PAD. Therefore, we assume that AS PSPs will be allowed to mention, for example in a footnote in the glossary, that AS PSPs are obliged to provide for this document as a result of European legislation (the PAD) which aims to improve consumers’ transparency and comparability on a pan-EU level.

We assume that the list of standardized terms and definitions as well as FID and SoF requirements are applicable to the new payments service providers under the PSD2, to create a level playing field.
The proposed list of standardized terms and definitions is not meeting the requirements of transparency and consistency (including wording and order) – from the point of view of Dutch customers. The current approach will lead in our opinion to a negative customer experience by Dutch customers and in the same time will raise costs for both APSP’s and customers and in general will boost the case of Euro critics.
In our opinion EBA has drafted a list of terms and definitions that in the current state will have an negative impact on transparency as will be experienced by Dutch customers. In another wording: it is our conviction that Dutch customers will not understand this list. ING Netherlands is determined to hold on to the current level of transparency (at the least) so if the current provisional list will not be significantly improved, ING Netherlands has no alternative than to clarify this lists using a translation table referring to our current documentation.

We believe the following changes concerning the terms and definitions used in the Annex of the draft RTS are required, specifically relating to the Dutch version of the draft RTS’ Annex as proposed by EBA on page 65 of its CP:
• In the terms and definitions the term ‘rekening’ [English translation: ‘account’] is used consequently. However, an ‘account’ can be a payment account, but also a savings account, mortage account or trading account. To avoid any future miscommunication and meeting the requirement in Chapter 2 and article 2.3 we propose to change ‘rekening’ into ‘betaalrekening’ [English translation: ‘payment account’].
• The term ‘Beheren van de rekening’ [English translation: ‘Maintaining the account’] and its definition is quite unclear to us. We believe the Dutch translation ‘Aanhouden van de betaalrekening’ better matches its English equivalent of “Maintaining the payment account” as compared to ‘Beheren van de betaalrekening’. We propose therefore propose to change ‘Beheren’ into ‘Aanhouden’ [English translation: ‘Maintaining’ or ‘Holding’]. The definition would then be worded as follows: “De aanbieder van de betaalrekening houdt de betaalrekening voor de klant aan.”.
• The wording of ‘Aanbieden van een debit card’ [English translation: ‘Providing a debit card’] and ‘Aanbieden van een credit card’ [English translation: ‘Providing a credit card’] relates in the Dutch language only to the part where the payment instrument is made available. The definition clearly points out that the use of the payment instrument is in scope, so the wording ‘Aanbieden van’ [English translation Providing’] should be eliminated. The definition names ‘betaalpas’ and ‘credit card’ are sufficient.
• The Dutch word ‘afgeboekt ‘refers to another financial activity and is not suitable in this consumer context. The list of terms of terms and definitions is meant for customers, not AS PSP’s. The common Dutch word is ‘afschrijven’, meaning that the balance of the payment account is reduced with the amount of the transaction. This wording ‘afschrijven’ should be used consistently in the list of terms and definitions. We assume that EBA is not referring in context to Instant Payments.
• The definition of ‘Aanbieden van een credit card’ [English translation: ‘Providing a credit card’] contains the following sentence: “In een kredietovereenkomst tussen de aanbieder en de klant wordt bepaald of de klant rente in rekening wordt gebracht voor het opnemen van krediet.” [English translation: “A credit agreement between the provider and the customer determines whether interest will be charged to the customer for the borrowing.”]. In the Netherlands a “credit card” represents a charge credit card in most cases, without a credit agreement. Therefore, we recommend EBA to delete the sentence “In een kredietovereenkomst tussen de aanbieder en de klant wordt bepaald of de klant rente in rekening wordt gebracht voor het opnemen van krediet.” in the definition of ‘Aanbieden van een credit card’. In this way issuing an additional mandatory credit agreement will force Dutch AS PSP’s into extra costs and Dutch customers into client dissatisfaction.
• In the definition of ‘Rood staan’ [English translation: ‘Arranged overdraft’], the following is stated: “(…), en of de klant vergoedingen en rente in rekening wordt gebracht.” [English translation: “(…), and whether fees and interest will be charged to the customer.”]. In the Netherlands interest is charged in case of overdraft, but no fees. Therefore the words ‘vergoedingen en’ [English translation: ‘and interest’] can be deleted in the definition. The definition will be rephrased to: : “(…), en of de klant rente in rekening wordt gebracht.”. Please note that Article 2 (25 and 26) of the PAD (on definitions) refer to ‘overdraft facility’ and ‘overrunning’ as the appropriate wording. Article 2 (25) states: “‘overdraft facility’ means an explicit credit agreement whereby a payment service provider makes available to a consumer funds which exceed the current balance in the consumer’s payment account”. As article 2 (26) states: “‘overrunning’ means a tacitly accepted overdraft whereby a payment service provider makes available to a consumer funds which exceed the current balance in the consumer’s payment account or the agreed overdraft facility”. We would recommend EBA to use these terms instead of ‘Arranged overdraft’.
• The term ‘Periodieke betaalopdracht’ [English translation: ‘Standing order’] is not in line with the term ‘Overboeking’ (as stated in the row above ‘Periodieke betaalopdracht’). We believe it is more clear for Dutch consumers to change ‘Periodieke betaalopdracht’) into ‘Periodieke overboeking’ [English translation: ‘Standing order]. Furthermore, we believe that in the definition of ‘Periodieke betaalopdracht’) the word ‘regelmatig’ [English translation: ‘regular’] should be changed into ‘periodiek’ [English translation: ‘periodic’] to be consistent with the corresponding term ‘Periodieke overschrijving’.
• We recommend to change the term ‘Automatische overschrijving’ [English translation: ‘Direct debit’] into ‘Incasso’. This because the term ‘Automatische afschrijving’ is vaguely known but its synonym ‘incasso’ is much better known. The small difference in wording between ‘Automatische overschrijving’ and ‘Automatische afschrijving’ which will lead without any doubt to misunderstandings. So we suggests to use the word ‘Incasso’ when referring to a direct debit, instead of to ‘automatische overschrijving’.
• In the definition of ‘Overboeking’ [English translation: ‘Sending money’], the following is stated: ‘(…) maakt op instructie van de klant (…)’ [English translation: ‘(…) transfers (…) on the instruction of the customer (…)’]. We believe it will be easier for Dutch consumers if this is rephrased to: ‘(…) maakt in opdracht van de klant (…)’ [English translation: ‘(…) transfers (…) on behalf of the customer (…)’].
• We propose to change the term ‘Opname van geld’ [English translation: ‘Cash withdrawal’] into ‘Opname van contant geld’. This because ‘geld’ [English translation: ‘money’] can be both read as being physical (banknotes and coins) as well as being electronic (when, for example, paying with a debit card). ‘Contant geld’ means ‘cash (banknotes and coins)’. Therefore we also propose to add the word ‘contant’ in the accompanying definition: ‘De klant neemt contant geld op van zijn of haar betaalrekening’.

This lead in our view to the following list of terms and definitions:
Betaalrekening De aanbieder van de betaalrekening houdt de betaalrekening voor de klant aan.
Betaalpas De aanbieder van de betaalrekening verschaft een betaalpas die gekoppeld is aan de betaalrekening van de klant. Het bedrag van elke transactie die met de betaalpas wordt uitgevoerd, wordt onmiddellijk afgeschreven van het beschikbaar tegoed op de betaalrekening van de klant.
Credit card De aanbieder van de rekening verschaft een credit card die gekoppeld is aan de rekening van de klant. Die credit card mag de klant gedurende een overeengekomen periode gebruiken. Bij het gebruik van de credit card wordt het totaalbedrag van de uitgevoerde transacties ofwel volledig ofwel gedeeltelijk op een overeengekomen datum afgeschreven van het beschikbaar tegoed op de betaalrekening van de klant.
Rood staan De aanbieder van de rekening en de klant komen vooraf overeen dat aan de klant meer geld ter beschikking kan worden gesteld dan het beschikbare tegoed op de betaalrekening van de klant. In deze overeenkomst wordt ook het maximumbedrag bepaald dat ter beschikking kan worden gesteld, en of de klant rente in rekening wordt gebracht.
Overschrijving De aanbieder van de betaalrekening schrijft in opdracht van de klant geld over van de betaalrekening van de klant naar een andere betaalrekening.
Periodieke overschrijving De aanbieder van de betaalrekening schrijft in opdracht van de klant periodiek een vast geldbedrag over van de betaalrekening van de klant naar een andere betaalrekening.
Incasso De klant machtigt iemand anders (ontvanger) om de aanbieder van de betaalrekening te instrueren om geld over te maken van de betaalrekening van de klant naar die van de ontvanger. De aanbieder van de betaalrekening schrijft vervolgens geld over aan de ontvanger op een door de klant en de ontvanger overeengekomen datum of data. Het bedrag kan variëren.
Opname van contant geld De klant neemt contant geld op van zijn of haar eigen betaalrekening.

Finally we advise to list the items in the list of terms and definitions in the same order as in the SoF and FID.
The Directive is mainly aimed to improve transparency and consistency for customers which is addressed by the comparability website of the Member state in question. ING Netherlands is convinced that customers will not compare FID’s from different ASPS’s themselves as that comparison is already performed by the comparability website of the Member state. In result the FID and SOF requirements should be as transparent as possible but on a high level regarding consistency. Flexibility on Member state level is key.
‘Factsheet 1 of the Commission – Presentation and comparison of payments account fees’ http://ec.europa.eu/finance/finservices-retail/docs/inclusion/20130506-factsheet-1_en.pdf is very clear on the current Dutch position: currently the Netherlands is on the top of the transparency list while having the lowest fees in the EU.

We have serious doubts whether the proposed FID template is suited to achieve the aims of the Directive; to enhance comparability and transparency for consumers. We agree with EBA that the initial test results, as explained in paragraph 65 to 69 (page 20 and 21 of EBA’s CP), do not show an unambiguous, clear and convincing evidence that the standardized presentation format of the FID (and SoF) actually helps consumers to easy understand this document (68% of participants responded positively on this question). This has been the reason that EBA implemented several changes in the FID template, as described in Chapter 4.4.1 of EBA’s CP. It would give us more confidence and comfort-feeling if the revised FID template is retested, preferably in the Netherlands, to prove that the changes made actually improve consumers understanding of the FID.

Furthermore, according to paragraph 63 and 64 (page 20 of EBA’s CP), initial consumer testing took place in only a relatively limited number of Member States. Quantitative research was conducted in eight - and qualitative research in (only) two Member States. We understand EBA’s arguments that there has been relatively limited time and budget available for this consumer testing. However, we believe that the test results would be much more representative when a sufficient number of consumers residing in all (or at least the majority of) EU-Member States would have been involved in the testing. We therefore encourage EBA to retest the current FID template at consumers residing in all, or at least the majority of, EU Member States.

Article 4 of the PAD mandates EBA to develop a format for the draft ITS of the FID that should be short and be presented and laid out in a way that is clear and easy to read, using characters of a readable size. But we believe the details set in the proposed Draft ITS of the FID go much further than this. It even seems to go in the opposite direction by setting far too strict requirements for the lay-out. We are simply not convinced that this high level of detail and prescription is needed to achieve the objectives of the PAD (transparency and comparability). We are convinced that this will lead to new and extra costs for ASPS’s and ultimately for consumers! As stressed by the EBA in par. 78 of the section on ‘background and rationale’ (page 23 of its CP), the standardised FID should be “clear when read by consumers as well as easy to be produced by PSPs”. The focus should lay on making the FID consumer friendly, clear and transparent rather than focusing on the number of pages or the space to be used. We are afraid that the proposal tends to lose sight of the principle of proportionality in this context. The EBA proposal will surely not meet the aim of having a document “easy to produce for PSPs”. We believe that a too formalistic and prescriptive approach regarding the format used will turn out to be counterproductive and costly, especially for those Member States where payment account-related fees already are relatively low and transparent (as it is the case in the Netherlands).The aim to enhance comparison is already met in the implementation in the comparison website on Member State level. Especially in a country with 97% internet access (figure: National Statistics Bureau CBS) the FID is a document that will be rarely used by customers for comparison purposes. The transparency requirements can be met on a more user-friendly and less costly base. We advise EBA to implement in the RTS and ITS more flexibility on Member State level.

Moreover, the FID (and SoF) are not the only information documents that customers have to be provided with under EU and national law (for example PSD2). Therefore we assume that AS PSPs will be allowed to mention that – for example in a footnote in the glossary, FID and SoF – AS PSPs are obliged to provide for a FID due to European legislation (the PAD), which aims to improve consumers’ transparency and comparability on a pan-EU level. Furthermore, we believe that by setting too strict standards for the terms and definitions used (glossary), the FID-template will have a negative impact on AS PSPs to innovate in their offering of payment account related services.

With regard to the FID template as proposed in the draft ITS and its Annex (page 83 and 84 of EBA’s CP), we further suggest the following amendments:
• In the FID template the term ‘account’ is used several times. ‘Payment account’ is only mentioned once, under the second bullet: “(…) the main services linked to the payment account” of the first page of the FID template. We have noticed the reluctance of the EBA to use ‘payments account’. In the Directive article 2.3 clearly states ‘payments account’ as the scope. Only ‘payments account’ are in the scope of the PAD.
• Regarding the ‘comprehensive cost indicator’, recital 19 of Directive 2014/92/EU states: “Member States should be able to require [meaning its concerns a Member State option] key indicators such as a comprehensive cost indicator summarizing the overall annual cost of the payment account for consumers to be provided with the fee information document.”. The example-FID (page 30 of EBA’s CP) does not illustrate how this ‘Comprehensive cost indicator’ should be calculated and filled-in. Art. 10 (Comprehensive cost indicator) of the draft ITS (page 82 of EBA’s CP) does not provide us with sufficient information on what ‘Comprehensive cost indicator’ exactly means, nor how the box (as displayed in the last box of the second page of the FID template) should be filled-in. We therefore suggest EBA to clarify what ‘Comprehensive cost indicator’ exactly means and why it is useful for consumers and provide for an example regarding its calculation, or completely delete this requirement from its final Draft ITS for the FID and SoF.

PS: Please note that paragraph 69 refers, regarding to more detailed test results and subsequent actions taken by EBA, to Chapter 3.5 and 3.6 of EBA’s CP. We assume that it should refer to Chapter 4.4 and 4.5 instead.
We consider that the common symbol in the FID template does not clearly represent the document’s purposes. As we explained in our response to question 5, it would give us more confidence and comfort-feeling if the revised FID template is retested to prove that the changes made actually improve consumers being able to understand the FID. This also applies for the proposed FID’s common symbol; Recital 20 of Directive 2014/92/EU establishes that the FID should be clearly distinguishable from other communications. However, according to paragraph 91 (page 24 of EBA’s CP) only 50% of the consumers involved in the testing deemed that the symbol would make the FID distinguishable from other documentation and even 39 % of consumers disagreed that the symbol makes the document distinguishable from other documentation. However, despite these questionable results, EBA has decided not to change the FID symbol as it explains in paragraph 92 (page 25 of EBA’s CP). We suggest having the symbol constituted of the acronyms of the FID with EU acronyms. Indeed many consumers will not be aware of the symbol and may not understand why besides the AS PSP’s normal price list they also receive the FID.

Furthermore, according to par. 63 and 64 (page 20 of EBA’s CP), initial consumer testing took place in only a relatively limited number of Member States. Quantitative research was conducted in eight - and qualitative research in (only) two Member States. We understand EBA’s arguments that there has been relatively limited time and budget available for this consumer testing. However, we believe that the test results would be much more representative when a sufficient number of consumers residing in all (or at least the majority of) EU-Member States would have been involved in the testing. We therefore encourage EBA to retest the current FID template, including its symbol, at consumers residing in all, or at least the majority of, EU Member States.
See our response on question 8
We do understand EBA’s goals to optimize consumers ability to compare the payment accounts offered by several AS PSPs, by imposing requirements on both content and lay-out of the FID template – as stated in article 4.6 in the Directive. We however have serious doubts whether the proposed instructions for the completion of the FID template contained in the draft ITS will in all circumstances lead to enhanced comparability and transparency for consumers. We advise EBA to elaborate on the relation between the strict FID requirements and the possible impact of the comparison website of each Member state.
Our concerns cover the following points:
• The proposed Draft ITS of the FID do not provide any guidance on how AS PSPs should integrate possible existing tiered pricing models, volume discounts, rebates, different pricing models used for specific customer segments, etcetera with regard to the fees and interest rates of their payment account-related offering in the FID. We recommend EBA to provide for more clarity on this matter in its final Draft ITS of the FID.
• When an AS PSP offers more than one payment account package, recital 5 of the draft ITS (page 77 of EBA’s CP) states: “(…) In order to make it easier for the consumer to understand the content of the different types of packages and their fees, the fee information document should list the packages separately. (…)” We will interpret this as when, for example, an AS PSP offers four separate payment account packages, it needs to list each payment account package (including its services and additional fees) one by one in one and the same FID. However, this does not seem to match with Article 1 (3) of the Draft ITS of the FID (page 78 of EBA’s CP), which states: “Where payment service providers offer more than one account as referred to in Article 4(1) of Directive 2014/92/EU, the payment service providers shall provide a consumer with a fee information document for each account available.”. Article 9 (2) of the draft ITS (page 81 of EBA’s CP) does not provide much clearance on this either: “Where payment services providers offer more than one package and the additional fees referred to in paragraph 1 differ dependent on the package, payment service providers shall list the different fees separately for each package and use the brand name of the package, where applicable.” In other words, it is not clear to us if in our above-mentioned example, an AS PSP needs to draft one FID, which consists of all its separate consumer payment account packages offered, or four separate FIDs explaining each payment account package separately. The integration of all payment account packages in one FID would lead to a multiplication in the number of pages, with unclear benefits considering that the aim of the PAD is to compare the fees related to a payment account. Indeed, the longer the list of packages, the less easy it will be to compare between packages. Taking all this into consideration, we assume that an AS PSP will need to draft one FID for each separate payment account package it offers. However, we strongly recommend EBA to clarify on this matter in its final Draft ITS of the FID.
• We note that the services mentioned in the example-FID (paragraph 111 on page 29 – 30 of EBA’s CP) do not always match the prescribed terms as mentioned in the Annex of the Draft RTS on Union standardized terminology (page 53 of EBA’s CP). For example ‘debit card’ in the example-FID versus ‘Providing a debit card’ in the Annex of the Draft RTS. We understand from the example-FID that it will be possible that in the FID only part of a term - as described in the (Draft) RTS on Union standardized terminology - is used. However, we encourage EBA to provide unambiguous clearance on this matter in their final Draft ITS.
• The example-FID (page 29 – 30 of EBA’s CP) illustrates that monthly costs of the ‘Package of services’ is 10.00 euro. In the ‘services’ table below, the example-FID indicates that ‘Maintaining the account’ costs 10.00 euro per month. It is not clear to us if these costs need to be summed-up with the costs for the ‘Package of services’ or not. This makes the example-FID not clear to us. However, looking at both the ‘Package’- and ‘Services’-box as mentioned in the FID template of the Annex (page 83 of EBA’s CP) of the draft ITS, it seems to us that maybe there has been made a mistake when drafting the example-FID. The text “Package consists of: - 5 credit transfers (…) 1 debit card” in the ‘Package’-box of the example-FID (page 29 of EBA’s CP) needs to be moved towards the ‘General account service’ of the ‘Service’-box. We encourage EBA to provide for a more detailed example-FID, based on a realistic payment account related offering of a (fictive) AS PSP. This provides much more clearance on how the prescribed FID-template should be filled-in by AS PSPs.
• Recital 8 and Article 10 of the draft RTS (page 77 and 82 of EBA’s CP) refer to the ‘comprehensive cost indicator’. As we have mentioned in our answer to question 5 and 6, we are not sure what ‘Comprehensive cost indicator’ exactly means, how a consumer might benefit from such a indicator nor how the box (as displayed in the last box of the second page of the FID template) should be filled-in. We therefore recommend EBA to provide more clarity on this in its final Draft ITS , or completely delete this requirement.
• For reasons of completeness, we suggest to amend recital 9 of the draft RTS (page 77 of EBA’s CP) with the following underlined text: “This Regulation is based on the draft implementing technical standards submitted by the European Banking Authority (EBA) to the Commission.” into “This Regulation is based on the draft implementing technical standards on the standardized presentation format of the fee information document and its common symbol, under Article 4(6) of Directive 2014/92/EU [Payment Accounts Directive] submitted by the European Banking Authority (EBA) to the Commission.”
• Recital 4 of the draft ITS (page 77 of EBA’s CP) states: “Since the fee information document should be easily produced by payment service providers, there should be clear instructions for the payment service providers on how to complete the fee information document.” We believe however that, taken our answers provided to question 5, 6, 7 and 8 into account, the proposed Draft ITS of the standardized presentation format of the fee information document and its common symbol under Article 4(6) of Directive 2014/92/EU are quite difficult to follow and interpret. We believe that the composition of the FID will be a quite complex and challenging task for AS PSPs.
• Article 1 (3) of the proposed Draft EBA ITS on the FID (page 78 of EBA’s CP) states: “Where payment service providers offer more than one account as referred to in Article 4(1) of Directive 2014/92/EU, the payment service providers shall provide a consumer with a fee information document for each account available.” We assume that when a consumer is interested in a specific payment account package only and not in the other ones (if applicable) offered by the same AS PSP, it will be sufficient that the AS PSP will proactively inform the consumer about the FID of that specific payment account package, and not about the FIDs for its other payment account packages. Of course, the AS PSP will make the FIDs of all the payment accounts packages it offers clearly visible and easy to find for consumers on its public website.
• In the draft ITS the term ‘account’ is often used. However, an ‘account’ can be a payment account, but also a savings account, mortgage account or trading account. To avoid any future miscommunication, we would propose to change ‘account’ into ‘payment account’ where ‘account’ actually refers to ‘payment account’. For example, as mentioned in Recital 7 of the draft ITS (page 77 of EBA’s CP) as well as in in paragraph 104 (page 27 of EBA’s DP), the words “General Account Service” would need to be amended to “General Payment Account Service”.
• With regard to Article 4 of the proposed Draft EBA ITS on the FID), we recommend to replace the heading ‘account provider’ by ‘payment account provider’ or in alignment with PSD2 by ‘account servicing payment service provider’.
• Taking all above into consideration, we strongly encourage EBA to provide for a far more detailed example-FID as compared to the one that is shown on page 29 and 30 of its CP, based on a realistic payment account related offering of a (fictive) AS PSP. This provide much more clearance on how the prescribed FID-template should be filled-in by AS PSPs.
• Finally, we have noted that in its CP, EBA provides for a FID-template in the English language only. We assume that EBA will offer the FID-template in all official languages of EU Member States in its final Draft RTS.
The current approach of the EBA is mainly focused on consistency which might have a negative impact on innovation and will raise costs for ASPS’s and ultimately for customers.

We agree with EBA that the initial test results, as explained in paragraph 65 to 69 (page 20 and 21 of EBA’s CP), do not show an unambiguous, clear and convincing evidence that the standardised presentation format of the SoF (and FID) actually helps consumers to easy understand this document (68% of participants responded positively on this question). This has been the reason that EBA implemented several changes in the SoF template. It would give us more confidence and comfort-feeling if the revised SoF template is retested to prove that the changes made actually improve consumers being able to understand the SoF.

Furthermore, according to par. 63 and 64 (page 20 of EBA’s CP), initial consumer testing took place in only a relatively limited number of Member States. Quantitative research was conducted in eight - and qualitative research in (only) two Member States. We understand EBA’s arguments that there has been relatively limited time and budget available for this consumer testing. However, we believe that the test results would be much more representative when a sufficient number of consumers residing in all (or at least the majority of ) EU-Member States would have been involved in the testing. We therefore encourage EBA to retest the current SoF template at consumers residing in all, or at least the majority of, EU Member States.

The proposed draft ITS of the SoF seem to prescribe far too strict lay-out requirements. We are simply not convinced that this high level of detail and prescription is needed to achieve the objectives of the PAD (transparency and comparability). We are afraid that the proposed ITS on the SoF tends to lose sight of the principle of proportionality in this context. According to Article 5 (4) of the PAD, the EBA has been given a specific mandate to develop draft ITS regarding a standardized presentation format of the SoF and its common symbol. EBA should notably ensure that the SOF and the common symbols are understandable and comparable for consumers. As stressed by the EBA in par. 116 of the section on ‘background and rationale’ (page 31 of EBA’s CP), the SoF should be “clear when read by consumers as well as easy for PSPs to produce”. We believe that a too formalistic and prescriptive approach regarding the format used will be counterproductive. It will also not meet the aim of having a document “easy to produce for PSPs”. It will lead to additional costs for IT investments and operational adjustments for ASPSPs, which in our view are not proportionate and necessary to the achieve the objective as they can be overcome by using existing templates instead of creating new ones.

The requirements for the Sof are applicable for all AS PSPS’s, which includes new starting AS PSP’s. These startup AS PSP’s might very well implement a-typical business models and innovative payment instruments which do not fit into the format prescribed by EBA. The burden of the mandatory and in-depth requirements of the Sof might therefore very well be in conflict of the requirement in Recital 10 of the PAD.

In the Netherlands AS PSP’s have a legal obligation to report on a yearly basis fiscal relevant information per payment account to customers. This includes interest (both credit and debit interest) information. The current strict lay-out requirements of the SOF prevents any combination of SoF and yearly fiscal reporting. So as a result of the PAD the Dutch AS PSP’s now have to issue two separate reports with duplicate information which generates extra costs with no additional improvement for customers. Flexibility on Member State level regarding the possibility to combine legally required reports is therefore crucial.

Moreover, the SoF (and FID) are not the only information documents that customers have to be provided with under EU and national law (for example PSD2). Therefore we assume that AS PSPs will be allowed to mention that – for example in a footnote in the glossary, FID and SoF – AS PSPs are obliged to provide for these documents due to European legislation (the PAD), which aims to improve consumers’ transparency and comparability on a pan-EU level.

With regard to the SoF template as proposed in the draft ITS and its Annex (page 94 - 96 of EBA’s CP), we further suggest the following amendments:
• In the SoF template the term ‘account’ is used. However, an ‘account’ can be a payment account, but also a savings account, mortgage account or trading account. To avoid any future miscommunication, we would propose to change ‘account’ into ‘payment account’ where ‘account’ actually refers to ‘payment account’. Also only payment accounts are in scope of the mandate of EBA, referring to Chapter 2 and article 2.3.
• Regarding the ‘comprehensive cost indicator’, recital 6 of the Draft ITS of the SoF (page 87 of EBA’s CP) states: “In accordance with Recital 19 of Directive 2014/92/EU Member States should be able to require key indicators such as a comprehensive cost indicator to be provided in the statement of fees. The template for the statement of fees should therefore include a separate table, to be used by those payment service providers which are subject to such conditions.”. We noticed that the SoF-template as proposed in the Annex of the draft ITS (page 94 of EBA’s CP) mentions ‘Key cost indicator’ on its first page. However, the SoF example (page 37 of EBA’s CP) does not mention ‘Key cost indicator’, but seems to call it ‘Comprehensive cost indicator’. Furthermore, the SoF example does not illustrate how this ‘Key cost indicator’ should be interpreted and filled-in. Furthermore, Recital 19 of the PAD does not state that Member States should be able to require key indicators such as a comprehensive cost indicator to be provided in the SoF, referring only to FID: “Member States should be able to require key indicators such as a comprehensive cost indicator summarizing the overall annual cost of the payment account for consumers to be provided with the fee information document.”. Therefore, we believe that Recital 6 of the Draft ITS on the SoF (page 87 of EBA’s CP) should be deleted. This also applies fir Article 10 (4) of the proposed ITS for the SoF (on page 89 of EBA’s CP). This Member State option should not be part of the mandatory SoF template.
• We expect that AS PSPs’ compliancy with the PAD-requirements regarding the SoF (Article 5) will - unfortunately – add limited value for consumers in the Netherlands. It may even lead to consumer confusion, because consumers are not (yet) known with the SoF-template. Therefore, we assume that AS PSPs will be allowed to mention, for example in a footnote in the SoF, that AS PSPs are obliged to provide for this document as a result of European legislation (the PAD) which aims to improve consumers’ transparency and comparability on a pan-EU level.
Recital 20 of the PAD establishes that the SoF should be clearly distinguishable from other communications. We consider that the common symbol in the FID template does not clearly represent the document’s purposes. We expect that many consumers will not be aware of the symbol and may not understand why besides the bank’s normal invoices they also receive the SoF. According to paragraph 119 (page 32 of EBA’s CP) only 52% of the consumers involved in the testing deemed that the symbol would make the SoF distinguishable from other documentation. However, despite these questionable results, EBA has decided to not change the SoF symbol as it explains in paragraph 120 (page 32 of EBA’s CP). It would give us more confidence and comfort-feeling if the revised SoF template and its common symbol is retested to prove that the changes made actually improve consumers being able to understand the SoF. We would suggest EBA to have the symbol constituted of the acronyms of the FID with EU acronyms.

Furthermore, according to paragraph 63 and 64 (page 20 of EBA’s CP), initial consumer testing took place in only a relatively limited number of Member States. Quantitative research was conducted in eight - and qualitative research in (only) two Member States. We understand EBA’s arguments that there has been relatively limited time and budget available for this consumer testing. However, we believe that the test results would be much more representative when a sufficient number of consumers residing in all (or at least the majority of ) EU-Member States would have been involved in the testing. We therefore encourage EBA to retest the current SoF template, including its symbol, at consumers residing in all, or at least the majority of, EU Member States.
See our response on question 12
We understand EBA’s goals - to enable consumers to understand what fee expenditures relate to and to assess the need to either modify consumption patterns or move to another provider - by imposing strict requirements in both content and lay-out of the SoF template and bring its structure, where possible, in line with that of the FID template. We however have serious doubts whether the proposed instructions for the completion of the SoF template contained in the draft ITS will in all circumstances lead to improvements on this matter. Our concerns cover the following points:
• We note that the services mentioned in the example-SoF (page 38 of EBA’s CP) do not always match the prescribed terms as mentioned in the Annex of the Draft RTS on Union standardised terminology under Article 3(4) of Directive 2014/92/EU (page 53 of EBA’s CP). For example ‘debit card’ used in the box ‘Services’, under the header ‘General account services’ on the first page of the SoF example (page 38 of EBA’s CP) versus ‘Providing a debit card’ in the Annex of the Draft RTS. We understand from the example-SoF that it will be possible that in the SoF only part of a term - as described in the (Draft) RTS on Union standardised terminology - is used. However, we encourage EBA to provide unambiguous clearance on this matter in their final Draft ITS of the SoF.
• We also noted that the costs as mentioned in the ‘Total’-column in the SoF’s table ‘Detailed statement of fees paid on the account’ in the example-SoF (page 38 an 39 of EBA’s CP) do not sum-up to the € 252,- as mentioned in the row ‘Total fees paid (total package of services fees and total fees paid)’ on the first page of the example-SoF (page 37 of EBA’s CP). What explains this difference? Maybe only the services as mentioned on the national list of most representative payment account-related services have to be specified in the SoF’s table ‘Detailed statement of fees paid on the account’. Nevertheless, we strongly urge EBA to provide for clarity on this matter in its final Draft ITS of the SoF.
• For reasons of completeness, we suggest to amend recital 8 of the draft RTS (page 87 of EBA’s CP) with the underlined text: “This Regulation is based on the draft implementing technical standards submitted by the European Banking Authority (EBA) to the Commission.” into “This Regulation is based on the draft implementing technical standards on the standardised presentation format of the statement of fees and its common symbol, under Article 5(4) of Directive 2014/92/EU [Payment Accounts Directive] submitted by the European Banking Authority (EBA) to the Commission.”
• In the draft ITS the term ‘account’ is often used. However, an ‘account’ can be a payment account, but also a savings account, mortgage account or trading account. To avoid any future miscommunication, we would propose to change ‘account’ into ‘payment account’ where ‘account’ actually refers to ‘payment account’. For example, as mentioned the words “General Account Service” as mentioned several times in Article 11 and 12 of the draft ITS (page 89 and 90 of EBA’s CP) would, in our view, need to be amended to “General Payment Account Service”.
• We recommend, regarding article 4 (2) of the Draft ITS (page 88 of EBA’s CP), to delete the words ‘fax number’. In our view, the fax is a quite outdated communication instrument, of which the use is minimized during the last years. This also applies to the communication via fax machine between consumers and AS PSPs.
• The proposed Draft ITS of the FID do not provide guidance on how AS PSPs should integrate possible existing tiered pricing models, volume discounts, rebates, different pricing models used for specific customer segments, et cetera with regard to the fees and interest rates of their payment account-related offering in the SoF. We recommend EBA to provide for more clarity on this matter in its final Draft ITS of the SoF.
• Par. 124 (on page 33 of EBA’s CP) mentions the introductory part of the SoF template also specifies “(…) which SoF is being provided (number 1, 2 etc.).”. Article 7 of the draft ITS (page 89 of EBA’s CP) states: “Payment service providers shall indicate in the row ‘Statement of fees’ the number of statement of fees provided, which shall be displayed in numeral character, left aligned.” We are not sure what is exactly meant here. Does it mean that a certain payment account could have multiple SoFs covering for the same period? Or does it mean that each successive SoF should have a number (for example number 1 for the SoF of 2018, number 2 for the SoF of 2019, etc.)? In our view, mentioning only a number is of little value for the consumer. The attention should focus rather on the period the statement is referring to. We therefore suggest the deletion of this line.
• With regard to Article 4 of the proposed Draft EBA ITS on the SoF (page 88 of EBA’s CP), we recommend to replace the heading ‘account provider’ by ‘payment account provider’ or ‘account servicing payment service provider’.
• Recital 6 and Article 10 (4) of the draft ITS (page 87 and 89 of EBA’s CP) refer to a ‘comprehensive cost indicator’. Art. 10 (4) of the Draft ITS mentions that PSPs “shall display the comprehensive cost indicator summarising the overall annual cost of the payment account in a separate table, where required by national provisions. The table shall be deleted, if national provisions do not require payment service providers to display the comprehensive cost indicator.” As we have mentioned in our answer to question 9 and 10, we are not sure what ‘Comprehensive cost indicator’ - or ‘Key cost indicator’ as the SoF template in the Annex of the draft ITS (page 94 of EBA’s CP) mentions instead - exactly means and how it can be useful to customers, and how it needs to be calculated and displayed in the SoF. We therefore recommend EBA to provide more clarity on this in its final Draft ITS, or completely delete this requirement.
• We do not understand what is meant with article 11 (4) of the proposed Draft ITS of the SoF (page 90 of EBA’s CP), especially with the second part: “(…), or if the package of services is offered with the account this package is charged as part of the fee for any general account services.”. We recommend EBA to rephrase this text in order to provide for more clarity on this matter in its final Draft ITS of the SoF. We also would recommend EBA to clarify what is exactly meant in art. 12 (9); we see a need for more guidance for AS PSPs on how to deal with payment account packages in filling-in SoFs.
• Article 12 (8) of the Draft ITS of the SoF (page 91 of EBA’s CP) states: “Where the fee has changed during the relevant period, payment service providers shall list the fees applied during each period, by adding new lines to the ‘Unit fee’ column.” We assume that an AS PSP will in that case be required to specify which fee relates to which period. We recommend EBA to clearly mention this in Article 12 (8).
• Paragraph 141 (page 35 of EBA’s CP) mentions: “The draft ITS propose that the PSP indicate the interest rate expressed as a percentage applied on the annual basis and if the rate changed during the relevant period, the provider must list the interest rates that applied during each period. The PSP must also indicate the resultant total amount of interest paid or earned by the payment account holder, in bold.” These requirements are described in Article 13 (2 and 3) of the Draft RTS (page 92 of EBA’s CP). However, in the SoF example, in the box ‘Detail of interest paid on the account’ (page 39 of EBA’s CP) two interest rates are displayed: 10% and 12%. It is however not mentioned which period these percentages cover for. We are not sure if the example-SoF example mistakenly lacks this information (as required by Article 13 (2 and 3) of the draft ITS ) or not. We assume that an AS PSP will in that case be required to specify which interest rate relates to which period. We recommend EBA to clearly mention this in Article 13 (2) in its final Draft ITS. The same would apply for interest earned (Article 14 (3 and 4)).
• We further recommend EBA to specify in article 13 and article 14 of its proposed Draft ITS (page 91 an 92 of EBA’s CP) whether the interest rate which AS PSPs are required to mention in their SoFs relate to the nominal - or effective interest rate (or both).
• Regarding article 13(3) of the proposed ITS of the SoF, we assume that if applicable, an AS PSP need to indicate whether the paid interest percentage(s) cover for overdraft and /or overrunning. This because interest rates charged for overdraft and overrunning often differ from each other.
• Article 13 (4) of the proposed draft ITS of the SoF (page 92 of EBA’s CP) states: “Where a particular account does not pay the interest because no interest is applicable to the account, payment service providers shall indicate it by using the following wordings ‘interest not applicable’, in lower case, left aligned, in bold, in row ‘Total interest paid’.”. Article 14 (5) of the draft ITS of the SoF (page 92 of EBA’s CP) states: “Where a particular account does not pay the interest because no interest is applicable to the account, payment service providers shall indicate it by using the following wordings ‘interest not applicable’, in lower case, left aligned, in the column ‘Interest’.”. We wonder why EBA chooses for a different way of specifying ‘interest not applicable’ for interest paid and - earned on the account the SoF-template. Therefore, we recommend EBA to make the different approaches of Article 13 (4) and 14 (5) consistent with each other.
• Article 13 (5) the proposed draft ITS of the SoF (page 92 of EBA’s CP) relates to ‘detail interest paid on the account’. However, it does not refer to interest paid on the payment account but rather to interest earned on the payment account. Therefore, Article 13 (5) should be redrafted.
• For some services, it can be quite arbitrary whether they are payment account-related services or not. For example, our Emergency Cash Service for customers abroad without having cash money nor a payment instrument. The Draft ITS of the SoF do not clarify when these kinds of services should be in – or out of- scope of the SoF. We recommend EBA to provide for more clarity on this matter in its final Draft ITS of the SoF.
• Taking all above into consideration, we strongly encourage EBA to provide for a far more detailed example-SoF as compared to the one that is shown on page 37 – 39 of its CP, based on a realistic payment account related offering of an (fictive) AS PSP. This provide much more clearance on how the prescribed FID-template should be filled-in by AS PSPs.
• We have noted that in its CP, EBA provides for a SoF-template in the English language only. We assume that EBA will offer the SoF-template in all official languages of EU Member States in its final Draft RTS.
• We have noticed that in the creation process of the draft template EBA was not taking into account that on national level similar forms for other purposes already exists. In the Netherlands AS PSP’s have an obligation to report yearly the fiscal relevant data to their customers including interest paid and received. We therefore strongly advise to also create a possibility that on a national level it will be possible to integrate the needed information on existing reports towards our customers. This will help to achieve the goal of informing our customers in a standardize way that they already use to.
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[Issuing of payment instruments and/or acquiring of payment transactions"]"
Paul Heideman
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