Three key questions about your bank account
In this post we will resolve three of the most frequent questions on bank accounts.
Can my bank unilaterally change the conditions of my bank account?
Your bank can change the conditions of your current account as long as it notifies you:
- In advance, two months before the proposed changes take effect.
- On paper or another durable medium and separately from the transaction settlement documents.
If you do not agree with the changes, it is important that you let your bank know before the proposed effective date and also that you consider other options.
You should be aware that, if you do not communicate your refusal, your bank will consider that you tacitly accept the communicated change, provided that this possibility is included in the account contract and you are informed in the notice of the right to be helped to cancel the account immediately without any cost if you do not agree.
Only if the change in conditions is favourable can the bank apply them to you immediately.
As part of their commercial policy, banks sometimes decide not to charge fees to their customers for a certain period of time. Likewise, in this case and even if the fee is contractually stated, good banking practices and uses would require prior individualised communication to the customers concerned, informing them of the new applicable conditions.
What if my account is linked to a loan?
The conditions of an account linked to a product taken out with the bank —such as a mortgage or personal loan— must be considered to be agreed and unchangeable until the final maturity of the loan, so they cannot be changed.
Also, if this account is used exclusively for the payment of the loan, in order to find out whether the maintenance fees charged are in accordance with good banking practices, you will have to pay attention to the date the contract was signed.
I want to cancel my account. Do I have to go to my branch?
First of all, to request the cancellation of your account remotely, you must abide by what is agreed in the contract.
If your account contract does not include the obligation to use a certain procedure to request cancellation, in situations where it is very difficult or impossible to go to the branch, alternative means may be used, for example, a letter with the original signature of the account holder, sent by registered post with acknowledgement of receipt or by burofax to the branch where the account was opened, or by any other means provided by the institution.