Savings account reform

Towards more transparency for regulated savings accounts


A new royal decree which modifies the functioning of the regulated savings accounts has been published on 27 September 2013. This royal decree aims to standardise the calculation and payment of the base rate and the fidelity premium as well as to retain the fidelity premium when transfers are made between regulated savings accounts at the same bank.

Specifically, what does the reform include?

  • Quarterly payment of fidelity premium

    The fidelity premium, which is obtained after 12 consecutive months, will henceforth be paid on a quarterly basis. The payment dates are 1 January, 1 April, 1 July and 1 October. You will therefore receive your fidelity premium quicker than before. (For its part, the base rate continues to be paid annually, on 1 January, as before.)

  • Portability of fidelity premium between regulated savings accounts of the same bank

    You can transfer money from one regulated savings account to another at the same bank without losing the fidelity premium in the process of being earned and up to 3 times per year, per calendar year.
    However, the period of 12 consecutive months must still be observed for the premium to be obtained. To be taken into account, the amount transferred must be at least euros 500 and one of the holders of the 2 regulated savings accounts must be the same.

  • Detailed breakdown of interest

    In this breakdown, you receive a detailed overview of the base rate and the fidelity premium paid, as well as the status of the fidelity premium in the process of being earned.
    The structure of this detailed breakdown is the same for all banks and is established by the FSMA.

  • Calculator

    Each bank must provide a calculator. This is a tool which allows you to check how your fidelity premium will be affected by any withdrawal or payment out of your regulated savings account. You will therefore have a precise view of the effects of any movement on your account. This calculator indicates when the fidelity premium period began, when it will be obtained, the amount to which it applies and the rate applicable for each amount.

  • 3-month rate guarantee

    If a bank increases the rate on one of its regulated savings accounts, it must wait at least 3 months before lowering this rate again. The bank can only lower the rate of the account in question if the European Central Bank lowers its reference rate during this 3-month period. However, a bank can, of course, always increase its rates in favour of the customer without taking into account this 3-month period.

  • Removal of restrictive conditions on opening regulated savings accounts

    It is forbidden to offer conditions specifically assigned to new customers or fresh money, that is, money that was not previously in an account at the same bank.
    However, a minimum amount for opening a regulated savings account may be set.

  • Limit on maximum number of regulated savings accounts

    For the sake of clarity regarding the customer in relation to the offer proposed, the maximum number of regulated savings accounts is 6 per bank.

For more information on these measures, you can consult our FAQ:

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

 

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