Credit institutions to provide face-to-face financial services in all spanish municipalities
The Spanish Banking Association (AEB), the Spanish Confederation of Savings Banks (CECA) and the National Union of Credit Cooperatives (UNACC) have presented a roadmap to strengthen financial inclusion in rural areas, with the aim of ensuring adequate provision of face-to-face financial services for 100% of the Spanish territory.
The commitment was presented at a meeting with the First Vice-President of the Government of Spain and Minister for Economic Affairs and Digital Transformation, Nadia Calviño, on 7 October 2022. Its signing will represent a further update of the Strategic Protocol to Strengthen the Banking Sector’s Social and Sustainable Commitment, signed in July 2021 and updated in February 2022 to ensure financial inclusion and personalised customer services for senior citizens.
Its main objective is to equip all municipalities with at least one point of access to face-to-face banking services within a six-month period. To this end, the roadmap adopts the following commitments:
- (i) Service commitment in municipalities with no point of access to face-to-face financial services: at least one point of access to banking services will be implemented. In particular:
- For municipalities with more than 500 inhabitants without a point of access to financial services (243 municipalities), a commitment is made to ensure at least one of these modes: bank branches, ATMs, mobile branches or financial agents.
- For municipalities with less than 500 inhabitants without financial services (2,987 municipalities), a commitment is made to the basics, ensuring access to cash, either through one of the above modes (i.e. bank branches, ATMs, mobile offices or financial agents), cash back or cash-in-shop solutions or rural postmen with the "Correos Cash" (Post Office Cash) service.
In the municipalities that, after six months, do not have at least one point of access, a subsidiary commitment is made to install a generic ATM with the functionalities needed to provide basic banking services and to allow cash withdrawals, for which it will have an additional six-month period. During the three months following installation, training will be given to local residents to facilitate use of the new ATM.
- (ii) Commitments in relation to the municipalities with a single physical point of access to banking services: pre-existing points of access will generally be maintained and, in the event of any planned closure, at least four months' notice must be given and the municipality must be included in the roadmap objectives.
This roadmap, developed in coordination with the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Digital Transformation, also establishes a mechanism for monitoring commitments and updating information.
For more detailed information on the commitments to ensure financial inclusion, the statement and the roadmap can be found on the associations' websites (www.aebanca.es; www.ceca.es; and www.unacc.es).