Il-Kummissjoni Ewropea wieġbet għal mistoqsija parlamentari tal-Ewroparlamentari Alfred Sant li fiha huwa talab spjegazzjoni dwar dak li qed isir biex ikun assigurat li l-pandemija COVID-19 ma tintużax mill-banek biex tnaqqas is-servizzi għall-konsumaturi.

Il-Viċi President Eżekuttiv tal-Kummissjoni Ewropea Valdis Dombrovskis kiteb lil Alfred Sant fejn qal li l-Kummissjoni osservat it-tnaqqis regolari fin-numru ta’ fergħat tal-banek u ta’ ‘automated teller machines’ u se tissorvelja mill-qrib l-evoluzzjoni tas-servizzi bankarji għall-konsumatur fl-Unjoni Ewropea.

Is-Sur Dombrovskis irrikonoxxa li t-tnaqqis tas-servizzi bankarji jista’ tabilħaqq ikollu impatt fuq l-aċċess għas-servizzi bankarji bażiċi miċ-ċittadini tal-UE, b’mod partikolari dawk inqas familjari mal-aspett diġitali.

In a parliamentary question tabled at the European Parliament, Alfred Sant had called on the European Commission to explain how it is acting to ensure that the pandemic is not used by banks to permanently reduce services to the detriment of lower income consumers and pensioners in particular.

F’mistoqsija parlamentari mressqa fil-Parlament Ewropew, Alfred Sant talab lill-Kummissjoni Ewropea biex tispjega kif qed taġixxi biex tiżgura li l-pandemija ma tintużax mill-banek biex jitnaqqsu is-servizzi b’mod permanenti b’detriment għal konsumaturi bi dħul baxx u b’mod partikolari l-pensjonanti.

Fit-tweġiba tagħha, il-Kummissjoni qalet li ma għandha l-ebda element li jippermettilha li taqsam it-tħassib li l-pandemija tal-COVID-19 tista’ tintuża bħala skuża biex ikompli jitnaqqas l-aċċess għas-servizzi bankarji għall-konsumatur fl-UE. Madankollu, il-Kummissjoni tista’ tantiċipa xi trasformazzjonijiet bħall-aċċellerazzjoni ta’ pagamenti diġitali għad-detriment ta’ flus kontanti. Il-Kummissjoni se ssegwi l-impatt li dan jista’ jkollu, fuq l-inklużjoni finanzjarja.


European Commission monitors reduction of retail banking services following pressure by Alfred Sant

The European Commission has responded to a parliamentary question by Alfred Sant MEP in which he called for explanations on what is being done to ensure that the COVID-19 pandemic is not used by banks to reduce services for consumers.

The Executive Vice President of the European Commission Valdis Dombrovskis wrote to Alfred Sant to say that the Commission has observed the regular decrease of the number of bank branches and of automated teller machines and will be closely monitoring the evolution of retail banking services in the EU.

Mr Dombrovskis acknowledged that the reductions of banking services may indeed have an impact on the access to basic banking services by EU citizens, in particular those less familiar with digital banking.

In a parliamentary question tabled at the European Parliament, Alfred Sant had called on the European Commission to explain how it is acting to ensure that the pandemic is not used by banks to permanently reduce services to the detriment of lower income consumers and pensioners in particular.

In its reply, the Commission said it does not possess any element allowing it to share the view that the pandemic could be used as a pretext to further reduce the access to retail banking services but it could however anticipate some transformations such as the acceleration of digital payments at the expense of cash. The Commission said it will follow the impact this may have, going forward, on financial inclusion.

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