Friday, February 21, 2003

Dutch Bankers' Association presents annual report

Yesterday the Dutch Bankers' Association (NVB) presented its annual report. Two regulatory topics were specifically addressed:

- cost of supervision

- taking along the same account number when moving to another bank.

See also previous entries on this blog.

The NVB explained that it could not imagine that consumer would welcome the practical consequences of keeping the same account number. If a consumer would wish to keep his/her account number, it would require that, during a number of weeks, the new bank will need to reissue credit-cards, debit-cards and also adaptation should take place of network tables to route the card-transactions to the proper issuing bank. The NVB also explained that the measures announced (listed below) to facilitate transfer to another bank would most likely cover the problems experienced (or perceived).

1. Credit transfers to the old account will be rerouted (for 13 months) to the new account

2. Direct debits of the old account will be debited from the new account. The company involved will be informed on the fact that the account number of the customer has changed

3. Banks will stop periodic/regular payments and provide the full list to the consumer

4. The customer will receive a number of postcards to inform companies/organisations on the new account number

5. Banks will provide a brochure with practical tips

6. Procedural support for transferring other payment flows (creditcards debitcards etc.).

All the customer needs to do is send in a account transfer form, two weeks before the date that the transfer is desired. Of course some minor operational problems may be expected upon introduction of this Interbanc Moving the Account Service, but I'm not aware if any other country does it the same.