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A current account is a payment account and allows the transaction of funds deposited at any time. It allows cash deposits, withdrawals and payments to be made. In general, it is necessary for the contracting of other banking services, such as a credit agreement or a time deposit.
Access to payment instruments and payment services associated with the account by bank customers depends on the latter’s request to the credit institution. Credit institutions are not required to make available to current account holders payment cards, cheques, direct debits, homebanking services or other financial products or services.
Only duly authorised credit institutions registered with Banco de Portugal may contract the opening of current accounts.
Bank accounts in Portugal are identified by the account number or by the IBAN (International Bank Account Number).
A current account can be opened in person or by means of distance communication, that is, without the customer having to go to a branch.
Before opening an account, the credit institution must provide the customer with information about the account (pre-contractual information): a standardised information sheet, a depositor information template, a fee information document and a copy of the general account conditions.
Credit institutions are required to provide customers with this information, regardless of whether the account is opened in person or by means of distance communication.
This is the document that credit institutions must provide customers with before opening the account and which describes the characteristics of the account. It allows customers to more easily compare different offers and make a more informed decision.
It must comply with the format defined by Banco de Portugal (Notice No. 4/2009) and, in the case of current accounts, it must:
Describe the conditions of access;
Mention the means of handling the account;
Indicate the existence of a maximum and/or minimum amount to open the account or for the maintenance of the account;
Describe the remuneration, specifying the applicable rates or their form of calculation, as well as the form of calculation of interest;
Indicate the frequency of payment of interest;
Describe the conditions of use of the overdraft facilities associated with the account (if available), namely: annual nominal interest rate; annual effective rate or annual effective rate of charge , as applicable; calculation of interest and interest payment dates; repayment conditions; fees and expenses; and maximum amounts available;
Explain that credit overruns depend on acceptance by the institution, describing the conditions applicable if the institution accepts the withdrawal, namely, annual nominal interest rate, interest payment dates and maximum amounts or deadlines;
Indicate the period of validity of the conditions presented in the standardised information sheet.
This is the document that gathers information about the guarantee scheme that protects the deposits made in the relevant credit institution.
It specifies, inter alia, the limit of this protection and the repayment term of deposits in the event of insolvency of the institution.
The depositor information template must be signed by all of the holders when the current account is opened.
A document that payment service providers must provide to their consumer bank customers prior to opening an account, during the contractual relationship or whenever so requested.
This document contains information on the fees associated with the most representative services provided by the payment service provider. This document must contain harmonised terminology (terms and definitions) to designate each of the most representative services.
The person or persons interested in opening an account and, where appropriate, their representatives with powers to handle the account, including those normally designated as “authorised”, should provide credit institutions with the respective identification details and supporting documents.
In the case of customers’ representatives, institutions are similarly required to verify the document authorising such representatives to act on behalf of the customers.
Credit institutions may request other details deemed necessary depending on the type of deposit account.
Lack of a job or unemployment should not constitute grounds for refusing to open an account. In the case of unemployed or retired bank customers, information should be provided on the last job held.
When the bank customer acts on behalf of a third party, the credit institution must also request the provision of information and documentation on the identity of that third party (“actual beneficiary”).
Full address of the registered office
Full address of the branch or permanent establishment that is listed as account holder (where applicable)
Addresses of the main locations where activity is carried on (where applicable)
Identity of shareholders and those with voting rights equal to or greater than 5% of the undertaking
Where the bank customer is a legal person or a legal arrangement and acts on behalf of a third party, the credit institution must also request information and supporting identification documents of that third party (“actual beneficiary”).
In addition to the identification details established for natural persons, sole proprietors wishing to open these accounts are required to provide information on the corporate identification number (or where applicable, the equivalent number issued by a competent foreign authority), the name, registered office and object.
The person or persons interested in opening an account and, if appropriate, their representatives must provide the supporting documents for the identification details necessary to open the account.
These documents are required when opening the account in person and using means of distance communication, namely through:
Supporting documents for proof of identification to the credit institution may be the following:
Reproduction of the original, in physical or electronic form, of the personal identification document (in the case of natural persons);
Reproduction of the original, in physical or electronic form, of the identification document of the legal person, the commercial registry certificate or, in the case of an undertaking with its registered office outside Portuguese territory, the equivalent document issued by an independent and credible source (in the case of legal persons or legal arrangements); or
A certified copy of the aforementioned documents.
Providing these documents aims to prove the following identification details:
In the case of natural persons: photograph, full name, signature, date of birth, nationality stated in the identification document and type, number, expiry date and issuer of the identification document;
In the case of legal persons or legal arrangements: corporate name, object, full address of the registered office and, where applicable, the branch or permanent establishment as well as, where different, addresses of the main locations where activity is carried on, tax identification number, or in its absence, the equivalent number issued by a competent foreign authority.
The credit institution may check certain identification details by accessing the documents or equivalent information electronically.
In the case of natural persons, the identification details relating to photograph, full name, signature, date of birth, nationality stated in the identification document and the type, number, expiry date and issuer of the identification document may be proven:
through the electronic use of the citizen card, via the public administration interoperability platform, following authorisation of the bearer of the documents or respective representative;
via the Digital Mobile Key;
through interoperability platforms between public services’ IT systems.
In the case of legal persons or legal arrangements, identification details relating to corporate name, object, full address of the registered office and, where applicable, the branch or permanent establishment as well as, where different, addresses of the main locations where activity is carried on, tax identification number, or in its absence, the equivalent number issued by a competent foreign authority can be proven through interoperability platforms public services’ IT systems.
Videoconferencing is a verification procedure allowing the opening of accounts exclusively through digital channels (online or through a mobile application – app).
Verification of customers’ identification details by videoconference is applicable only to natural persons, bearers of valid identification documents.
The videoconference must be held in real time and without pauses, allow a recording with good sound and image quality and indicating the respective date and time. Institutions need to obtain the consent of the customer for this purpose.
During the videoconference, the credit institution must capture the double-sided image of the valid identification document, which includes the photograph and signature of the holder, issued by a competent public authority, to prove the identification details such as the full name, the date of birth and nationality stated in the identification document and the signature of the customer.
The credit institution should request a contact (mobile phone number or email) from the customer to which a one-time password (OTP) is sent during the videoconference. Upon reception of this password, the customer must enter it into the account opening support platform.
Credit institutions are required to keep copies of the documents presented to them and, where applicable, of the electronic data and videoconference recording, in compliance with the required identification and due diligence duties.
The current account agreement is entered into with the signature of the customer.
The credit institution must provide the customer with a copy of this agreement either on paper or on any other durable medium.
Having opened the account, credit institutions must periodically update the information they already hold or should hold on their customers.
Credit institutions should immediately take the measures necessary to update the information contained in their records whenever they become aware of at least one of the following:
In the case of natural persons: expiry of the identification documents;
In the case of legal persons or legal arrangements: changes to the management board or changes to the nature of the activity or business model.
Bank customers should also communicate any changes to the information submitted at the beginning of or during the contractual relationship.
Any Portuguese resident can open and operate deposit accounts abroad, either with Portuguese institutions represented abroad or with foreign institutions (Decree-Law No 295/2003).
If the bank customer arranges for the opening of a deposit account abroad in an institution having its registered office abroad, it must take into account the rules in force in that country, in particular in terms of the identification details required of account holders.
Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2018/34
Law No 83/2017 (only in Portuguese)
Decree-Law No 107/2017 (only in Portuguese)
Notice No 4/2009 (only in Portuguese)
Notice No 2/2018 (only in Portuguese)
Instruction No 11/2018 (only in Portuguese)
Decree-Law No 295/2003 (only in Portuguese)
Institutions that receive deposits
Basic bank account