On 22 February 2021, the European Banking Authority (EBA) issued a regulatory opinion on supervisory actions Member State competent authorities (NCAs) should take to ensure banks remove any remaining obstacles that prevent third party providers from accessing payment accounts, which restrict EU consumers’ choice of payment services. The EBA has produced the opinion under the mandate given to it by Article 29(1)(a) of its Founding Regulation which requires the European Supervisory Authority to play an active role in building a common EU supervisory culture and consistent supervisory practices, as well as ensuring uniform procedures and consistent approaches throughout the EU. The opinion sets out the EBA’s expectations on supervisory actions NCAs should take to ensure that remaining obstacles are removed from the interfaces of account servicing payment service providers (ASPSPs). In particular, the opinion provides that in order to ensure that obstacles to the provision of account information services (and/or) payment initiation services in the ASPSPs’ interfaces are removed, the EBA expects NCAs to assess the progress made by their respective industries, or complete their assessment should they have already started it, taking into account the principle of proportionality. Where this assessment identifies, or has identified, that ASPSPs continue to have such obstacles in their interface, the EBA expects NCAs to take, by 30 April 2021, supervisory action requiring these ASPSPs to become compliant with the applicable law and to set a deadline to said ASPSPs for the removal of these obstacles. NCAs may take supervisory action following a risk-based approach. The supervisory action may include but is not limited to issuing an instruction/warning to the ASPSP or requiring an amendment to ASPSP’s rules, procedures and/or systems.

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