There are more and more Portuguese with “low cost” bank accounts

Deepak Gupta April 13, 2022
Updated 2022/04/13 at 2:24 PM

Have you ever heard of “low cost” accounts or minimum bank service accounts? The number of minimum banking service accounts increased by 16.1% in 2021 to 150,405, year-on-year, the Bank of Portugal (BdP) announced today.

The BdP recalled that the “minimum banking services account can, as a rule, only be held by individuals without other current accounts. The use of the exceptions provided for in the law is relatively limited”.

There are already more than 150 thousand Portuguese with SMB

According to a note from the BdP on its official website, during the year, 25,935 SMB accounts were created [serviços mínimos bancários], 74% by converting an existing current account at the institution, and closed 5,110 accounts, 83% of which at the customer's request. Most accounts were made up of people aged between 45 and 65 (33.0%) and aged 65 or over (35.2%)", according to the institution, with "only 3% of SMB accounts were opened by customers under the age of 25.

The institution revealed that, at the end of last year, “76% of SMB accounts had only one holder” and that “only 4.7% of SMB accounts were held by people who had other current accounts, as they were joint holders of a person over 65 years of age or a degree of disability equal to or greater than 60%.

On the other hand, “in only 1.3% of the existing accounts at the end of the year, the SMB account was held by people who were also co-owners of another SMB account with a person over 65 years of age or a degree of disability equal or greater than 60%”.

According to the BdP, last year “the percentage of SMB account holders with other banking products in the same institution increased”.

The BdP recalled that “the SMB account is a current account that allows the respective holder to access a set of banking services considered essential at a reduced cost”, and that, “in addition to opening and maintaining the minimum banking services account, this The account includes the provision of a debit card and access to 'homebanking', as well as carrying out over-the-counter withdrawals, direct debits, national intrabank transfers and 24 transfers to other banks, through 'homebanking'”.

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