F’ mistoqsija parlamentari  fil-Parlament Ewropew, Alfred Sant qal li ċ-ċittadini tal-UE ilhom jesperjenzaw tnaqqis fis-servizzi bankarji fil-livelli kollha b’mod partikolari għad-detriment tal-konsumaturi bi dħul baxx u tal-pensjonanti.

Il-pandemija COVID-19 kkawżat b’mod ċar it-tnaqqis tas-servizzi bankarji u l-Kummissjoni Ewropea teħtieġ tispjega kif qed taġixxi biex tiżgura li l-pandemija ma tintużax mill-banek biex tnaqqas is-servizzi għall-konsumaturi b’mod permanenti.

Alfred Sant staqsa wkoll lill-Kummissjoni jekk hux qed tikkunsidra li tibda sistema ta’ kondizzjonalità għall-għajnuna mill-Istat għal banek li twassal biex il-banek li jirċievu din l-għajnuna jkunu obbligati jżommu l-livell tagħhom ta’ servizzi bankarji.

Il-mistoqsija parlamentari tressqet fl-istess ħin meta l-Grupp tas-Soċjalisti u d-Demokratiċi fil-Parlament Ewropew qed jippreżenta emenda plenarja dwar l-istess suġġett fuq parir ta’ Alfred Sant.

L-emenda plenarja hija mressqa għar-Rapport Annwali dwar il-Kompetizzjoni li kien ivvutat fis-sessjoni plenarja tal-Parlament Ewropew. Din tappella lill-Kummissjoni biex tiżgura li l-banek li jirċievu għajnuna mill-istat għandhom ikunu obbligati jżommu s-servizzi bankarji għall-konsumatur  b’mod sħiħ u ma jitħallewx jużaw il-kriżi Covid-19 bħala skuża biex inaqqsu dawn is-servizzi b’mod permanenti.

Fil-kuntest tar-Rapport Annwali dwar il-Kompetizzjoni, Alfred Sant ressaq numru ta’ emendi fosthom waħda li tipproponi li l-għajnuna mill-Istat lill-banek tkun akkumpanjata minn obbligu li jipprovdu servizzi lil klijenti “żgħar”, fl-aħħar mill-aħħar liċ-ċittadini tal-UE.

 


Alfred Sant urges European Commission to ensure that COVID-19 is not used as pretext to reduce banking services for consumers

In a parliamentary question at the European Parliament, Alfred Sant said EU citizens have been experiencing a reduction of retail banking services across all levels to the detriment of lower income consumers and pensioners in particular.

The COVID-19 pandemic has clearly triggered the reduction of banking services and the European Commission needs to explain how it is acting to ensure that the pandemic is not used by banks to permanently reduce services for consumers.

Alfred Sant also asked the Commission whether it is considering initiating a system of conditionality for state aid to banks whereby banks receiving such aid are obliged to retain their level of retail banking.

The parliamentary question is submitted at the same time as the Socialists and Democrats Group in the European Parliament is tabling a plenary amendment on the same topic upon advice by Alfred Sant.

The plenary amendment was tabled for the Annual Competition Report that was voted upon in the European Parliament’s plenary session. It calls on the Commission to make sure that banks receiving state aid should be obliged to retain their full retail banking and consumer banking services and not be allowed to use the Covid-19 crisis as a pretext to permanently reduce such services.

In the context of the Annual Competition Report, Alfred Sant tabled a number of amendments including one proposing that state aid to banks should be accompanied by an obligation towards providing retail services to “small” clients, ultimately EU citizens.

 

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