Written Question: Closure of bank branches

(Source: European Parliament)

Date submitted: 16 March 2021

Question for written answer E-001424/2021
to the Commission
Rule 138
Pascal Arimont (PPE)

Subject: Closure of bank branches

According to recent figures from the European Central Bank(1), the bank branch network is getting thinner by the day. Structural financial indicators show an average decline in the EU of 6.3%. There was found to be a decline in 25 out of 27 EU Member States, and at the national level the decline in the number of branches varied from 0.9% to 37%. According to press reports(2), at least one bank branch closes every day in Belgium – a trend that has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, the digitalisation of banking services has been gaining momentum, raising concerns that older people are being left behind as a result.

  1. What does the Commission intend to do about the continuous closure of bank branches?
  2. Against this background, are Member States complying with the obligations laid down in the Payment Accounts Directive (2014/92/EU, in particular Articles 16 and 17 thereof), on the basis of which consumers are guaranteed the right to open and use payment accounts with basic features?

(1) European Central Bank, EU Structural Financial Indicators: End 2019, 8 June 2020.
(2) https://www.standaard.be/cnt/dmf20210303_98178791

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