What is a basic bank account?
Access to the credit intermediary activity
List of authorised credit intermediaries
How to protect yourself from online fraud?
Do you know what the gross domestic product is? What about inflation? (only in Portuguese)
Before setting up a deposit, institutions will provide you with a standardised information sheet (in the case of simple deposits) or a key information document (in the case of structured deposits), with the characteristics of the deposit you wish to enter into.
All the characteristics foreseen in the standardised information sheet and in the key information document are also included in the contract, which is given to the customer when the agreement is entered into.
In current accounts, holders may access the amount deposited at any time.
In time deposits, funds may be withdrawn before the end of the term only if this is foreseen and in accordance with the conditions that are defined in the deposit agreement.
In time deposits that cannot be mobilised in advance, the funds can be withdrawn only at the end of the term deposit.
No. Although there is a devaluation of the index to which the structured deposit is associated, it must ensure the reimbursement of at least the capital deposited, at the end of the term deposit or at the time of the early withdrawal, if this possibility is provided for in the deposit agreement.
Membership of the Deposits Guarantee Fund is compulsory for the following institutions:
Credit institutions with headquarters in Portugal, authorised to receive deposits;
Credit institutions based in non-European Union countries, unless Banco de Portugal considers that the guarantee system of the country of origin is equivalent to that of the Deposits Guarantee Fund.
The following institutions do not participate in the Deposits Guarantee Fund:
Branches of banks based in other European Union countries, insofar as their deposits are covered by the guarantee of the country of origin;
Mutual Agricultural Credit Banks included in the Integrated Mutual Agricultural Credit System, since the respective deposits are covered by the Mutual Agricultural Credit Guarantee Fund.
The Deposits Guarantee Fund is intended to guarantee the repayment of deposits held by credit institutions authorised to receive deposits from the public and that participate in the Fund. The Deposits Guarantee Fund may also be called upon to collaborate, on a transitional basis, in actions aimed at restoring the solvency and liquidity conditions of these institutions, within the framework of intervention programs established by law.
The purpose of the Mutual Agricultural Credit Guarantee Fund is to guarantee the repayment of deposits made in the Central Agricultural Credit Bank and its associated Mutual Agricultural Credit Banks, as well as to promote and carry out the actions it deems necessary to ensure the solvency and liquidity of these institutions, with a view to defending the Integrated Mutual Agricultural Credit System.
The maximum guaranteed amount for each of the Funds is EUR 100 000 per depositor and per institution, irrespective of the number and type of deposits (namely, current accounts, deposits redeemable at notice, time deposits, time deposits that cannot be mobilised in advance, special regime deposits, housing-savings, migrant savings, retirement savings, condominium savings and deposits represented by certificates of deposit).
The following are excluded from the reimbursement guarantee:
Deposits made with entities not authorised for this purpose;
Deposits made with the Central Agricultural Credit Bank and the associated Mutual Agricultural Credit Banks, which are covered by the Mutual Agricultural Credit Guarantee Fund;
Deposits in the name and on behalf of credit institutions, investment firms, financial institutions, insurance and reinsurance undertakings, collective investment institutions, pension funds, national and foreign public sector entities and supranational or international bodies, with the exception of:
deposits of pension funds whose members are small or medium-sized enterprises;
deposits of local authorities with an annual budget of EUR 500 000 or less;
Deposits arising from operations in respect to which a final criminal conviction has been issued for the practice of money laundering;
Deposits whose holder has not been identified by presenting the data provided for in the rules governing the prevention of money laundering and the financing of terrorism;
Deposits of entities which, in the two years prior to the date on which the deposits were unavailable or on which a resolution was adopted, had a direct or indirect interest equal to or greater than 2% of the share capital of the credit institution or were members of the credit institution’s management bodies, unless it is established that they were not, by action or omission, at the origin of the credit institution’s financial difficulties and did not contribute, by action or omission, to the credit institution’s situation.
Deposits that have not been established in the Central Agricultural Credit Bank and in the Mutual Agricultural Credit Banks associated with them;
deposits from local authorities with an annual budget of EUR 500 000 or less;
Deposits that have been confiscated by the State due to the commission of a crime and deposits resulting from operations in relation to which a criminal conviction has been issued for the practice of money laundering;
Deposits of entities which, in the two years prior to the date on which the deposits were unavailable or in which a resolution was adopted, had a direct or indirect interest equal to or greater than 2% of the share capital of the credit institution or were members of the credit institution’s management bodies, unless it is established that they were not, by action or omission, at the origin of the credit institution’s financial difficulties and did not contribute, by action or omission, to the credit institution’s situation.
It is considered that a deposit is unavailable when one of the following situations occurs:
The credit institution, for reasons directly related to its financial situation, has not made the respective reimbursement under the applicable legal and contractual conditions and Banco de Portugal has verified, within a maximum of five working days of having become aware of that situation for the first time, that the institution does not show that it can repay the deposits at that moment, nor does it intend to do so in the near future; or
Banco de Portugal has made public the decision to revoke the authorisation of the depository institution, if such publication occurs prior to the verification referred to in the previous point.
If the institution with which you have made your deposit is a branch of a credit institution based in another EU country, the deposit is covered by the guarantee scheme of the country in which the institution is situated, and its limit is of EUR 100 000.
These institutions are required to provide the public, in an easily understandable manner, with all the essential information regarding the guarantee schemes which cover the deposits they receive, including the respective identification and provisions, as well as the respective amounts, coverage and maximum repayment period. If deposits are excluded from the guarantee, the institutions must inform their depositors accordingly.
In the case of an institution based in a country which, although a member of the EU, is not a member of the euro area (Bulgaria, Denmark, Hungary, Poland, United Kingdom, Czech Republic, Romania and Sweden), the bank customer should bear in mind that the amount can be paid in the currency of the country of origin.
Yes. Deposits denominated in foreign currency are also covered by the guarantee of the Fund and must be converted into euros for reimbursement purposes, at the exchange rate on the date of the unavailability of deposits.
No. The deposit guarantee covers all deposits (except those excluded by law), regardless of their remuneration rate.
Yes. Interest on deposits is included in the balances of deposits covered by the guarantee of the fund and is accounted for up to the date on which deposits are unavailable.
Yes. Credit institutions may open a deposit account provided that the customer provides all the required identification details and provides supporting documentation for the following information, at least:
In the case of natural persons, a 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;
In the case of legal persons or legal arrangements, the name, object, full address of the registered office and, where applicable, the full address of the branch or permanent establishment registered as account holders, the legal person identification number or equivalent number issued by a foreign authority and the identification details of the members of the management board or equivalent body in addition to other relevant senior officers with managerial powers.
All required identification must be provided within a maximum period of 60 days of the date on which the identification details were first submitted and registered. Until the customer provides the other information, credit institutions may not:
authorise any debit and, in certain circumstances, credit transactions on the account;
perform any transactions using the payment instruments associated with the account (for example, cheques or debit cards);
allow changes to ownership of the account.
If the bank customer is unable to provide all the identification details required within the aforementioned 60 days, the credit institutions will immediately terminate the business relationship, closing the deposit account.
Yes. The credit institution may open a deposit account using means of distance communication, and may even allow the account to be opened exclusively through digital channels (online and mobile).
In this case, the identification details must be verified, inter alia:
by providing the credit institution with a certified copy of the supporting documents;
by accessing documents or the information in electronic version with equivalent value ( particularly the electronic use of the citizen card via the public administration interoperability platform or the Digital Mobile Key);
Yes. Deposit accounts on behalf of minors may be opened by their legal representatives (parents or guardians) or by third parties duly authorised to open such accounts.
However, minors aged 16 and over may open an account in their own name and operate it freely if they prove that:
they have been emancipated by marriage; or
they engage in paid employment under an employment contract.
No. Credit institutions must keep updated records of account holders, their representatives and beneficial owners. Holders must communicate any changes to their identification details, either by their own initiative or at the request of those institutions.
No. However, some institutions market deposit accounts (e.g. certain salary accounts and business accounts) that enable holders to access credit under certain conditions, generally of a small amount and short-term nature.
In cases where customers hold a basic bank account or standard account, credit institutions must provide them with a debit card to operate that account.
In other situations, credit institutions are not required to grant payment cards or cheques to their customers. Cheques and cards involve different contracts than deposits and also observe the principle of contractual freedom.
Some credit institutions offer payment cards or cheques when the account is opened.
Yes. Except where prohibited by law, institutions may charge fees associated with banking products and services, if that possibility is provided for in the account agreement.
Fees relating to current accounts – for example, for account management and maintenance and related to the use of payment instruments – are freely set by each credit institution, within the limits and under the conditions established by law.
Charging fees to close current accounts of consumers (private customers) and micro-enterprises is prohibited. For other types of customer, fees for closing an account may only be charged if less than six months have elapsed since it was opened. These fees should be limited to the respective costs incurred.
Institutions may also make charges, which correspond to other costs borne by the institutions and payable to third parties. Institutions may pass on these charges to customers as they are related, in particular, to taxes or payments to registry offices and notaries.
Credit institutions are required to publicise the maximum amount of fees and to indicate the main charges in their price lists, also available on this website (Services > Consult price lists).
The fees comparator of the Bank Customer Website can be used to compare the fees charged by the institutions relating to payment account services (Services > Fees comparator).
Credit institutions and other payment service providers must make available at any time and to any person a fee information document specifying the fees charged for a range of the most representative services.
In addition to this document, the institutions and other payment service providers must provide customers who are consumers, in January of each year, with a free statement of fees, listing all the fees paid on the payment account during the preceding calendar year.
In the case of other customers (namely enterprises), credit institutions should also send, in January of each year, a free receipted invoice, listing all the fees charged during the preceding calendar year for services associated with the current account.
Yes, as long as this possibility is provided for in the account agreement and the credit institution notifies customers of that change. The credit institution must inform customers of the content of those changes at least two months before their application.
Credit institutions are required to publicise the maximum amount of fees and to indicate the main charges in their price lists, also available on this Website (Services > Consult price lists).
Yes. This information is provided through regular statements to customers, which detail the transactions processed during a certain period of time.
The available balance is the amount in the current account that the holder may use without having to pay interest or any other charges. This balance does not include amounts made available to customers as overdraft facilities, since the use of these amounts is normally subject to interest or charges.
The accounting balance is the amount corresponding to the result of the credit and debit transactions made in the current account.
It includes, namely, amounts corresponding to cheque deposits prior to those funds becoming available. These amounts are considered when calculating the accounting balance, but as the funds are not actually available, their use prior to the respective value date may imply the payment of interest or other charges.
The accounting balance may be positive or negative, which occurs when customers make overdrafts (credit overruns) or when using amounts made available by the credit institution as an overdraft facility.
These are the amounts that customers are authorised to use by their credit institutions, in addition to the funds available in their accounts, namely, through overdrafts, early withdrawals of deposits pending collection or anticipation of future receivables, such as the so-called “salary accounts”.
The amounts of personal loan agreements should be included in the available balance whenever credit institutions make them available by crediting the customer’s current account.
No. The period of time until cheque amounts become available varies depending on whether the cheques are deposited over the counter or in automatic teller machines, whether the cheques are certified or drawn on the credit institution where they are deposited or on other institutions.
The death of a deposit account holder must be communicated promptly to the credit institution where the account is held.
The heirs may have access to such account provided that they prove their status as heirs to the credit institution. The credit institution should inform them of the documents they must provide (for example, death certificates and certificates of inheritance).
Yes. The assets or amounts deposited are considered dormant and revert to the State if, within a period of 15 years, the account holders have not exercised their rights over those values in any legitimate and unequivocal manner (for example, not performing any transactions, not paying fees or not receiving any interest).
The account change service is a service that allows bank customers to change their payment account (for example, the current account) from one payment service provider (the “sending provider”) to another (the “destination provider”). The account change service includes:
the change to the new account of credit transfer orders and direct debits executed in the account of origin;
if the customer so requests, the transfer of the balance from the original account to the new account;
if the customer so requests, the closure of the account of origin.
The account change service is only possible between payment service providers with their headquarters or a branch in Portugal and between accounts in the same currency.
You can use the account change service. This service is provided by payment service providers with headquarters or a branch in Portugal and between accounts in the same currency.
The account change service must be requested via a written document to the payment service provider to which the bank customer wishes to change the account (i.e. the destination payment service provider).
In the request addressed to the destination payment service provider, the customer authorises the individual tasks that he or she intends to be covered by the account change service.
Through the authorisation, the customer identifies, if possible in an individualised manner:
recurring credit transfers of which they are the beneficiary, standing orders and direct debit authorisations that are to be included in the account change service and, if so wished, the date from which they will begin to be carried out from the new account;
if the remaining balance of the account of origin is to be transferred to the new account, the date on which the transfer is to take place;
if the account of origin is to be closed, the date on which that account should be closed.
If the account has more than one holder, the authorisation must be signed by all holders.
The payment service providers involved in the account change process are required to provide the following information free of charge to bank customers:
The tasks that they are required to undertake in each stage of the account change process;
The deadlines for completing each of these tasks;
Any fees that may be required from the bank customer;
The information that the bank customer should provide to the recipient payment service provider and, where applicable, to the submitting payment service provider;
Alternative dispute resolution procedures;
Personal information regarding permanent orders and direct debits;
In addition, the payment service provider of origin shall provide free of charge a list of standing orders in the account of origin, available information on the direct debit authorisations subject to change and on recurring credit transfers to the bank customer and the recurring direct debits ordered by the creditor that have been executed in the account in the last 13 months.
In cases where the account of origin cannot be closed, at the request of the bank customer, the payment service provider must inform the customer of that circumstance.
No. The payment account change is not instantaneous.
Following the request submitted by the bank customer, the destination provider has two business days to request the sending payment service provider to carry out the tasks identified in the customer’s authorisation.
The sending provider has a period of five business days, following the request of the destination provider, to carry out the tasks for which it is responsible.
Finally, the destination provider has another five business days to perform the subsequent tasks related to the change.
Until the account change process is complete, payments can be made through the account of origin (for example, direct debits). The customer must therefore have sufficient funds available in the account of origin for these payments to be made.
When requesting the account change service, bank customers may choose to close the account of origin or keep it. In order to close the account of origin, bank customers must expressly mention this intention in the authorisation they provide to the payment service provider to which they intend to change the account (destination provider).
The account of origin shall be closed, free of charge, by the sending provider on the date resulting from the authorisation granted by the bank customer or within one month, at most, if the bank customer has no outstanding obligations in that account and provided that the account provider has completed its tasks in the account change process.
If there are outstanding obligations that prevent the account from being closed or other legal relationships that may be affected by the closure of the account on the due date, the sending provider must immediately inform the bank customer of this fact and the consequences thereof.
No. The account change service is only possible between payment service providers with their headquarters or a branch in Portugal.
However, should bank customers wish to open a payment account with a payment service provider located in another EU Member State, they may make a request to the payment service provider with whom they have a payment account. The payment service provider with whom they hold a payment account must assist them in opening this new account.
Upon receipt of the customer’s request, the payment service provider:
provides the bank customer free of charge with a list of active permanent credit transfer orders and direct debit authorisations ordered by the borrower, if any, as well as available information on recurring credit transfers to the customer and direct debits by creditors that have been executed in the consumer’s payment account in the last 13 months;
transfers the positive balance from the account of origin to the new payment account, provided that the customer’s request includes all the information necessary to identify the new payment service provider and the customer’s payment account;
closes the payment account free of charge on the date specified by the bank customer (at least six business days after the date the service provider receives the customer’s authorisation, unless otherwise agreed) or within one month, at most, if the customer has no outstanding obligations on the account.
Holders of payment accounts (including current accounts) may close their accounts at any time, unless a pre-notice period has been agreed, which the payment service provider can never require to be more than one month.
Except in cases of account change (in which the closure of the account can be requested directly from the service provider to which the customer wishes to change his or her account), the closure of an account must be formalised with the payment service provider by its holder or, in the case of a collective account, by all of its holders.
Account holders may also request immediate and unpaid closure of their account if they do not agree to a proposal to change the terms of the contract that the payment service provider presents to them. This request for closure must be submitted before the date proposed by the payment service provider for the application of the changes to the contract.
Yes, if this possibility is provided for in the contract and provided it informs the bank customer at least two months in advance.
Basic bank accounts are a set of banking services (namely the opening of a current account and the provision of a debit card, transfers and direct debit in the European Union) considered to be essential for natural persons.
The law requires all credit institutions authorised to receive deposits from the public to provide basic bank accounts at a reduced cost.
Basic bank accounts are provided by all credit institutions authorised to receive deposits in Portugal (banks, savings banks, the Central Mutual Agricultural Credit Bank and Mutual Agricultural Credit Banks) that provide to the public the services included in basic bank accounts.
Credit institutions indicate at their branches the provision of basic bank accounts through the dissemination of a poster, which includes information on the conditions of access and maintenance of the basic bank accounts and the services provided.
Any natural person may hold a basic bank account if he or she does not hold another current account.
However, there are some exceptions:
A natural person holding other current accounts may be co-holder of a basic bank account with a person over 65 years of age or with duly certified permanent disability of 60% or more who has no other accounts;
A natural person co-holding a basic bank account with a person over 65 years of age or with duly certified permanent disability of 60% or more can access a basic bank account, if he/she does not have other current accounts;
A customer who have been notified that their current account will be closed may request the opening of a basic bank account.
Yes. The basic bank account may have several holders, provided that none of them has any other account.
However, if one of the holders of the basic bank account fulfils this condition and is over 65 or dependent on others (with a duly certified permanent disability of 60% or more), the basic bank account may be co-hold by a person holding other current accounts.
In order to open a basic bank account, the customer must declare that he/she has been notified that his/her current account will be closed or that he/she does not hold another current account.
However, a customer holding other current accounts may open a basic bank account with a natural person over 65 years of age or with duly certified permanent disability of 60% or more, provided that such person qualifies for access to the basic bank accounts. In this case, the customer who already holds other current accounts is exempt from filing a signed declaration stating that he/she has been notified that his/her current account will be closed or that he/she does not hold another current account.
The opening of a basic bank account is made through the conclusion of a current account agreement, by completing and signing the forms for opening a current account, which constitute the agreement and are provided by credit institutions.
The holder of a current account may request the conversion of that account into a basic bank account:
If he/she wants to keep the account in that credit institution, the current account will be directly converted into a basic bank account, by introducing an amendment to the existing current account contract.
If the account holder wishes to switch to another credit institution, he/she must close the current account and open a basic bank account with their preferred credit institution.
In any case, the conversion of an account may not incur any costs to the account holders.
In both situations, the account to be converted must be the only current account held by the customer, unless the other account hold by the customer is a basic bank account co-held by a natural person over 65 years of age or with duly certified permanent disability of 60% or more.
The holder intending to convert his current account must declare that he/she has been notified that his/her current account will be closed or that he/she does not hold another current account, unless the other account is a basic bank account co-held by a person over 65 years of age or with duly certified permanent disability of 60% or more.
Yes. If a customer co-holds a basic bank account with a person over 65 years of age or dependent on others (with duly certified permanent disability of 60% or more), he/she can individual access a basic bank account, as long as he/she does not have other current accounts or by converting his/her account into a basic bank account. In the latter case, the account to be converted must be the only current account hold by the customer, in addition to the basic bank account co-held with a person over 65 years of age or dependent on others.
Credit institutions may only refuse to open basic bank accounts if at least one of the following situations occurs:
It becomes aware that, at the time of the request to open an account, the customer holds other current accounts, except in the case of co-ownership of a basic bank account with a natural person over 65 years of age or with duly certified permanent disability of 60% or more;
The customer refuses to issue a document stating that he/she has been notified that his/her current account will be closed or that he/she does not hold current accounts in his/her name, except in the case of co-ownership of a basic bank account with a natural person over 65 years of age or with duly certified permanent disability of 60% or more.
Credit institutions may only refuse to convert an account into a basic bank account only if at least one of the following situations occurs:
It becomes aware that, at the time of the request for conversion, the customer holds other current accounts, in addition to the one that he/she intends to convert, except in the case of co-ownership of a basic bank account with a natural person over 65 years of age or with duly certified permanent disability of 60% or more;
The customer refuses to issue a document stating that has been notified that his/her account will be closed or that he/she does not hold current accounts in his/her name, other than the one he/she wishes to convert, except in the case of co-ownership of a basic bank account with a natural person over 65 years of age or with duly certified permanent disability of 60% or more.
The credit institution may not refuse to open a basic bank account or to convert an account into a basic bank account on the grounds that one of its holders holds other current accounts if one of the co-holders in question, in addition to being eligible to access the basic bank account, is at least 65 years old or with duly certified permanent disability of 60% or more.
If you meet all the requirements and are denied the opening of a basic bank account by the credit institution, you can submit a complaint in the complaints book of the respective credit institution or to Banco de Portugal, through this website (Services > Complaining about an institution), or use alternative dispute resolution bodies provided by the credit institution.
Yes. A credit institution may immediately terminate a basic bank account when:
the customer has deliberately used the basic bank account for purposes contrary to the law;
the customer provided incorrect information to obtain the basic bank account, when he/she did not meet the respective access requirements.
The institution may also terminate a basic bank account, with effect 60 days after the closing notice, when:
the basic bank account has not been transacted (debited or credited) for at least 24 consecutive months;
the customer ceased to be a legal resident in the European Union;
the customer holds another current account with a credit institution in Portugal, which allows him/her to use the products and services included in the basic bank accounts.
The credit institution may require the customer to pay the difference between the charges usually associated with the services provided and the charges of the basic bank account. However, if the account is terminated because the customer has not transacted the account for at least 24 consecutive months, no additional charges may be applied.
The basic bank account includes:
opening and maintaining a current account – the basic bank account;
providing a debit card to operate the account, which cannot have more restrictive characteristics than other debit cards made available outside the regime;
access to the operation of the basic bank account through ATMs in the European Union, homebanking service and credit institution’s branches;
execution of deposits, withdrawals, payments of goods and services and direct debits;
execution of intra-bank transfers (i.e. transfers to accounts held in the same credit institution), without restriction on the number of transactions that can be carried out;
execution of interbank transfers (i.e. transfers to accounts opened in other institutions) through ATMs and 24 national interbank transfers and in the European Union, for each calendar year, through the homebanking service.
Yes, but the institution may charge a fee for the additional transfers made through homebanking. The amount of this fee must be included in the credit institution’s price list, also available on this website (Services > Consult price lists).
Customers holding a basic bank account may acquire other banking products or services, such as time deposits, savings accounts, interbank transfers not included in the package (for example, carried out through the branches of credit institutions) and credit products. These services are, however, subject to the charges provided for in the price list of credit institutions.
Credit institutions may not make available overdraft facilities or tacitly allow the account to be moved beyond its balance (overrunning) to customers of basic bank accounts. The prohibition of credit overruns is not applicable to debit card transactions, in which case credit institutions may allow the movement of the basic bank accounts beyond their balance to make certain payments with the debit card.
For the provision of basic bank accounts, credit institutions may not charge fees, expenses or other charges which, on a yearly basis and as a whole, account for more than 1% of the value of the social support index (IAS), i.e. 4.35 euros according to the value of IAS in 2019.
Customers can consult the information on the cost of basic bank accounts in the leaflet of fee and expenses of the credit institutions’ price list, also available on this website (Services > Consult price lists).
The standard account is a standardised current account.
Regardless of the institution that markets it, the standard account always has the following set of services associated to it:
Opening and maintaining a current account;
Provision of a debit card to operate the account;
Access to the operation of the account through ATMs, homebanking service and credit institution’s branches (institutions may limit the number of withdrawals made in branches to three in the same month);
Execution of deposits, withdrawals, payments of goods and services, direct debits and domestic intra-bank transfers.
Credit institutions set a maintenance fee for the standard account.
In other current accounts, the maintenance fee covers the services that each institution indicates. The services associated with currents accounts vary from institution to institution. For example, institutions often cover stand-alone fees for over-the-counter operations and for the issuance of a debit card, in contrast to what happens with the standard account. Thus, in other currents accounts, customers must take into account not only the maintenance fee but also the fees charged for the services associated with those accounts.
Credit institutions are not required to make the standard account available. The list of institutions that provided the standard account and the maintenance fees practiced can be found on this website (Services > Compare fees).
Yes, but the institution may charge a fee for the additional withdrawals over the counter. The amount of this fee must be included in the credit institution’s price list, also available on this website (Services > Consult price lists).
Home loans are loans from the credit institution to the customer, for a previously established period of time, used for the acquisition or construction of permanent or secondary residential property or residential leased property.
They also include credit agreements for the acquisition or maintenance of property rights over existing or projected land or buildings and loans for the downpayment due under the future acquisition of property for permanent or secondary residential property or residential leased property.
As a rule, home loans are guaranteed by a mortgage on the property.
Yes. In cases where the agreement is entered into with consumers (i.e. natural persons who act for purposes unrelated to their business or professional activity), there are other mortgage loans that are subject to the same rules as home loans:
Credit agreements which, not corresponding to home loans, are guaranteed by a mortgage or other equivalent collateral commonly used on real estate, such as consolidated credit or loans in which the purpose of the borrowed amount is not defined;
Leasing of property to permanent or secondary residential property or residential leased property.
No. However, most institutions require this since, as a rule, the payment of the monthly instalment is processed through the account held with the creditor institution.
Prior to the conclusion of the agreement, institutions shall inform customers of any obligation to open a bank account in that institution and to take out life insurance. If life insurance is required, customers can freely choose the entity with which they intend to take out the insurance.
Institutions must also clearly present all the conditions that are associated with taking out the loan, namely the fees and expenses associated with opening an account and taking out life insurance.
Home loans can be granted with variable, fixed or mixed interest rates.
If it is variable, the interest rate changes over the life of the loan whenever the value of the reference rate is revised (for example: every 3 months, if Euribor is 3 months, or every 6 months if Euribor is 6 months), because the value of the reference rate can increase or decrease over time due to factors that have nothing to do with the loan.
If the interest rate is fixed, customers know what the interest rate will be until the end of the loan term. When the loan agreement is entered into, it is normal for the fixed interest rate to be higher than the variable interest rate, since the term to which it refers is much shorter.
In the case of a mixed interest rate loan agreement, there is a period in which the rate is fixed, followed by another period in which the rate is variable.
Only at the end of the loan will customers know what would have been the best option at the time they signed the agreement. The choice between one of the options depends on customers’ expectations regarding the future evolution of the interest rates and the charges that they want to take on in the immediate future.
Yes. Credit institutions are not required to grant the loan.
Given the contractual freedom in business relationships, home loans are a free agreement between the parties.
Before you take out a home loan you should:
consider whether your income is sufficient to ensure the payment of the debts you intend to incur;
evaluate the impact on your effort rate, calculated as a quotient between the monthly instalment amount due under other credit agreements that you have and the monthly income earned;
provide true and complete information about your economic situation so that the institution can correctly assesses the risk of the loan;
compare different offers, taking into account the annual percentage rate of charge (APR) and other elements included in the European standardised information sheet (ESIS);
read carefully the draft of the credit agreement and clarify any doubts you may have with the institution or the credit intermediary.
Whenever the loan conditions are simulated, the credit institution or credit intermediary shall provide the bank customer with a European standardised Information Sheet drawn up based on the information presented by the customer.
Subsequently, when approving the loan, the institution must give the bank customer an ESIS that incorporates the terms of the approved credit agreement, accompanied by the draft agreement.
Yes. The credit institution is bound by the terms of the loan that it has approved, which are included in the European standardised information sheet and the draft credit agreement, for a minimum period of 30 days.
The fixing of this minimum period of 30 days aims to ensure that the customer has sufficient time to compare different credit proposals, assess their implications and make an informed decision.
Yes. In order for the customer to have a minimum period to analyse a credit proposal before the conclusion of the agreement, bank customers cannot accept this proposal for a period of seven days. This period shall run from the date on which the credit proposal is presented to the customer by the credit institution.
The period of reflection is mandatory and cannot be withdrawn by agreement between the bank customer and the credit institution.
Before the conclusion of the credit agreement, the guarantor is entitled to receive a copy of the European standardised information sheet with the credit terms approved by the institution and a copy of the draft credit agreement.
Yes. The guarantor has a minimum period of mandatory reflection of seven days, counting from the date on which he or she receives the copy of the European standardised information sheet and the draft credit agreement. This period of reflection has been established to ensure that the guarantor adequately assesses the implications of the commitment to be made and makes an informed decision.
Yes. Bank customers can repay part of the loan on any instalment payment date, notifying the credit institution of their intention at least seven business days in advance.
The institution may charge a maximum fee for the early repayment which corresponds to 0.5% of the capital which is reimbursed, in the case of variable interest rate agreements; or 2% of the capital which is reimbursed, in the case of fixed interest rate agreements.
The amortisation you make on your home loan will influence the amount of the instalment. If, however, you wish to reduce the term of your loan, you will have to make a request to change the contractual conditions of the loan to your bank, so that the agreement can be renegotiated.
If the customer expresses an intention to make a partial or total early repayment of the loan, the institution must inform the customer without delay of the impact of the loan repayment by describing the assumptions used. This information must be provided on paper or on another durable medium.
Yes. You can transfer your loan to another credit institution at any time during the term of the agreement, and only tell the credit institution that you wish to do so 10 business days in advance.
The fee payable to the credit institution may not exceed the amount corresponding to 0.5% of the capital which is reimbursed in the case of variable interest rate agreements or 2% of the capital which is reimbursed in the case of fixed interest rate agreements.
The credit institution where the loan is located has 10 working days to provide the institution to which the loan is to be transferred with all the information necessary for it to grant the new loan, in particular the amount of the outstanding capital and the time period of the initial loan agreement that has already elapsed.
You can only cease to be a guarantor if the bank agrees to your replacement.
The personal guarantee is a guarantee for the lender. If the contractual obligations are not fulfilled by the debtor, the guarantor becomes liable for them.
The spread can be changed by mutual agreement between the parties – credit institution and bank customer – within the framework of a renegotiation of the contractual conditions.
Credit institutions are, however, prevented from increasing the spread of credit agreements for the acquisition, renovation or maintenance of ownership rights over permanent residential property if the renegotiation of this contract was motivated by:
rental housing of the property of the borrower;
change of ownership of the agreement due to divorce, legal separation of persons and property, dissolution of the unmarried partnership or death of one of the spouses, provided that the monthly instalment of the loan represents a debt service to income ratio of the household of the new owner of less than 55% or, in the case of two or more dependents, 60%.
Yes. The renegotiation of home loan conditions requires the mutual agreement between the bank customer and the credit institution.
If the credit institution agrees to review the conditions of the home loan, it cannot charge any fee for the analysis of the renegotiation of the credit conditions, nor can it make such a renegotiation dependent on the acquisition of other financial products or services.
However, the credit institution may change other conditions of the loan, such as the spread, within the framework of the renegotiation.
Yes, the credit institution may apply the spread without the subsidy if you fail to subscribe to contractually anticipated financial products or services. However, if the institution does not do so for a year, that right shall lapse.
Although institutions are prohibited from making credit renegotiation dependent on the acquisition of other financial products or services, it does not cover those cases where the contract already provides, from the outset, the conditions for effecting a lower spread due to the fulfilment of requirements, in particular, of the subscription of other banking products or services.
You can ask the credit institution to change the payment date of your service or the account through which you pay the loan.
However, such changes require agreement between the customer and the credit institution.
Yes. The credit institution must provide you with a duplicate of the reports and other documents related to the evaluation performed on the property.
You may lodge a written complaint with the credit institution regarding the results and rationale of the evaluation, which must be answered.
You may also request a second evaluation of the property, in which case the costs will be borne by you.
You cannot, however, call into question the institution’s decision of whether or not to grant the loan as the contractual freedom of the parties prevails in this respect.
No. Credit institutions can only terminate the loan agreement if two conditions are met:
Failure to pay three successive instalments;
The institution has granted a minimum period of 30 days for the customer to pay the arrears, with the express warning of the consequences of not paying the instalments.
Credit institutions are also prevented from terminating credit agreements during the out-of-court arrears settlement procedure (OASP).
The credit institution may not increase the spread applicable to a loan agreement for the acquisition, renovation or maintenance of property rights over permanent residential property, nor aggravate other charges with this loan, in case of change of ownership of the agreement due to divorce, legal separation of persons and property, dissolution of the non-marital partnership or death of one of the spouses, where the monthly instalment of the loan represents a debt service to income ratio for the new owner’s household of less than 55% or, in the case of two or more dependents, 60%.
The credit institution may not increase the spread of the loan agreement entered into for the acquisition, renovation or maintenance of property rights over permanent residential housing, nor aggravate other charges on such loan, in case of renegotiation due to the rental housing of the property.
Persons with a degree of incapacity equal to or greater than 60%, confirmed by medical certificate of multipurpose disability, provided that they are over the age of 18, can apply for a home loan under the subsidised housing credit scheme for persons with disabilities.
Loans granted under this scheme may have the following purposes:
Acquisition, extension, construction or renovation of permanent housing (including the acquisition of an individual garage or parking space in a collective garage);
Acquisition of land for the construction of property intended for permanent owner-occupied housing (including the construction of an individual garage);
Renovation of common parts of buildings designed to comply with technical standards for accessibility to residential buildings.
Access to this scheme is still dependent on compliance with several requirements:
The loan amount cannot exceed EUR 190,000 (in 2015, updated annually according to the consumer price index);
The maximum term of the loan cannot exceed 50 years;
The amount of the loan cannot exceed 90% of the appraisal value of the house, or the cost of ordinary, extraordinary or improvement works (loan-to-value);
The loan cannot be used to purchase property owned by ascendants or descendants of the person concerned;
No member of the household may hold another loan under a subsidised loan scheme;
A mortgage on the financed property must be constituted, and it cannot be sold for a minimum period of five years.
However, the conclusion of contracts under this scheme always depends on the agreement of the credit institution.
Taking out life insurance is not required by law. However, institutions may request that such insurance be taken out as collateral for the risk associated with the loan.
In this case, the institutions must inform the customer, before the conclusion of the contract, of the need to take out life insurance. The customer can freely choose the entity with whom he or she intends to take out this insurance.
Yes. If you have acquired a degree of disability equal to or greater than 60% after the conclusion of a home loan agreement, and the purpose of such agreement is to purchase, expand, construct, renovate a permanent residential property or purchase land for the construction of property for that purpose, the home loan is necessarily migrated to the subsidised credit scheme for people with disabilities.
In order to migrate to the subsidised credit scheme for people with disabilities, you must fulfil the other access conditions and submit an application to the credit institution to request the change.
The change from the general scheme to the subsidised credit scheme for disabled persons is only allowed up to a maximum amount of EUR 190,000 (in 2015, updated annually on the basis of the consumer price index) and provided that the ratio between the outstanding capital and the value of the property does not exceed 90% (loan-to-value ratio).
In addition, the term of the loan covered by this scheme will take into account the number of years elapsed from the previous loan and the sum of the terms of the two loans cannot be more than 50 years.
Consumer credit is a credit agreement entered into with individuals, whether for commercial or professional purposes, to finance the purchase of consumer goods, such as computers, travel, automobiles, education or health.
Consumer credit includes:
loans to individuals amounting to between EUR 200 and EUR 75,000;
credit overruns, even if less than EUR 200;
loans for works on real estate, without a mortgage guarantee or other right over immovable property, even if they amount to more than EUR 75,000.
The consumer credit scheme does not apply to loan agreements:
guaranteed by mortgage on immovable property or other right over immovable property;
whose purpose is to finance the acquisition or maintenance of property rights over existing or projected land or buildings;
granted by pawnshops;
that are leases and that do not provide for the right or obligation to purchase the leased asset;
where the credit is granted free of interest and without any other charges;
granted by the employer to its employees, without interest or with an annual percentage rate of charge lower than the rates practiced in the market.
Consumer credit can be made available in a traditional way, with an amount, term and type of reimbursement defined at the outset (such as a personal loan and car loan), or in the form of revolving credit, with a maximum credit limit defined and an indefinite term, as is the case, for example, of credit cards, credit lines and overdraft facilities.
Before taking out consumer credit, customers must:
consider whether their income is sufficient to ensure the payment of the debts they intend to incur;
evaluate the impact on their effort rate, calculated as a quotient between the monthly amount of instalments due under other credit agreements they have and the monthly income earned;
choose the type of credit most suitable for what they want to buy, since there are several modalities with different purposes and associated costs;
compare different offers, taking into account the annual percentage rate of charge (APR) and other elements included in the standardised information sheet (SIS) provided by the institutions;
provide true and complete information about their economic situation so that the institution correctly assesses the risk of the loan and its creditworthiness (i.e. the customer’s ability to repay the loan);
It is the possibility given to customers to waive the credit within 14 days of the date of conclusion of the credit agreement or, if later, from the date of receipt of a copy of that agreement, without the need to invoke any reason.
To exercise the right of free revocation, customers must notify the institution of their intention in writing or on other durable medium.
Once the right of free revocation has been exercised, customers have 30 days to reimburse the principal and interest due from the date it was provided until it is effectively returned.
They may also be required to pay any expenses incurred by the institution before public authorities (e.g. taxes).
Yes, you can do so at any time, in whole or in part.
You must notify the institution at least 30 days in advance, in writing or other durable medium.
You may be subject to a fee.
If the early repayment occurs in a period in which the nominal rate of the contract is fixed, you may have to pay a fee of not more than:
0.5% of the amount of capital repaid, if the period remaining between the early repayment date and the stipulated date for the end of the credit agreement exceeds one year;
0.25% of the amount of capital repaid, if the period remaining between the early repayment date and the stipulated date for the end of the credit agreement is less than or equal to one year.
No early repayment fee is payable if:
the repayment occurs in a period in which the nominal rate of the contract is variable;
it is a credit agreement in the form of an overdraft facility;
the repayment has been made in execution of an insurance contract to guarantee the credit.
In any case, the fee payable for early repayment may not exceed the amount corresponding to the amount of interest that would be required of the customer for the period between the date of the early repayment and the date stipulated for the end of the fixed rate period.
These early repayment rules apply to contracts entered into as from 1 July 2009 and to credit agreements of indefinite duration already in force on that date. The remaining credit agreements observe the rules of early repayment included in Decree-Law no. 359/91.
Yes. The renegotiation of consumer credit conditions requires the mutual agreement between the bank customer and the credit institution.
If the credit institution agrees to renegotiate the credit, it cannot make that renegotiation dependent on the acquisition of other financial products or services. However, the institution may charge the customer a fee resulting from the renegotiation of the contract, which must be included in the institution’s price list (also available on this website).
Yes. Consumer credit should result from a free agreement between the parties. The credit institution is therefore not obliged to grant the loan.
Before the institution decides whether or not to enter into a credit agreement, it is required to evaluate in advance the creditworthiness of the customer (i.e. the customer’s ability to pay the credit).
The customer’s creditworthiness should be evaluated on the basis of information that the institution considers sufficient and that can be obtained, in particular, from the customer or by consulting the databases of credit liabilities, framed by the legislation in force and with coverage and detailed information to substantiate that evaluation, or by consulting the public list of executions or other databases considered useful for the assessment of consumer creditworthiness.
If the credit application is rejected on the basis of the consultations with the referred databases, customers have the right to be informed immediately, free of charge, of that fact as well as of the information contained in the databases consulted.
Even if the credit is granted through a credit intermediary, the credit agreement is always concluded with a credit institution, thus prevailing the principle of contractual freedom and of the obligation to assess the customer’s debt capacity.
The Pre-Arrears Action Plan (PRAP) is a set of procedures that credit institutions must adopt when they detect signs of risk of default in credit agreements or when bank customers inform them of difficulties in paying their debts.
Bank customer who inform the credit institution of the risk of defaulting on their obligations are entitled to receive an information document describing their rights and duties.
If it is confirmed that there is a risk of default, or if the credit institution detects a risk of default, the credit institution is obliged to assess the creditworthiness of the bank customer and, where feasible, to propose solutions to avoid default.
Credit institutions are obliged to detect signs of deterioration in the financial capacity of bank customers.
Among the signs of default that credit institutions must take into account are the records of overdue credit in the Central Credit Register, a database managed by Banco de Portugal.
The Central Credit Register provides information on the types and situations of credit, outstanding amounts and terms of the customer’s loans.
Negative information in the Central Credit Register may lead the credit institution to contact the bank customer in order to assess the signs of risk of default.
You can check your credit liabilities with the Central Credit Register on Banco de Portugal’s website.
The out-of-court arrears settlement procedure (OASP) is a negotiation model that aims to facilitate an agreement between the bank customer and the credit institution to settle arrears situations, avoiding the need to go to court.
This negotiation model applies to all credit agreements entered into by private bank customers, with the exception of leasing agreements.
Credit institutions must start the OASP between the 31st and 60th days after non-payment by the bank customer. The defaulting bank customer may also take the initiative to request access to the OASP.
No. The out-of-court arrears settlement procedure (OASP) applies only to credit agreements that have not been settled by credit institutions and are not being judicially enforced.
No. Within 30 days after the out-of-court arrears settlement procedure (OASP) has been initiated, credit institutions are obliged to assess the financial capacity of bank customers and to communicate the results of that assessment to them.
In the light of this assessment, the institution may conclude that it is not feasible to submit proposals and must inform the customer accordingly.
If the bank customer has the financial capacity to settle the default situation, the credit institution must propose one or more solutions for restructuring the credit agreement or consolidating the agreement with other credit agreements held by the bank customer.
Yes. Credit institutions may ask bank customers to provide information and to submit documents that prove to be strictly necessary and appropriate to assess their financial capacity. In particular, credit institutions may request the following documents:
The most recent proof of settlement of the personal income tax (IRS) due;
A copy of documents proving the income earned by the bank customer;
A written statement from the bank customer attesting the veracity, completeness and timeliness of the information provided.
If the bank customer does not submit the documents or does not provide the requested information, the credit institution may terminate the out-of-court arrears settlement procedure (OASP).
Yes. Under the proposal submitted to the bank customer, the credit institution may request full payment of the interest and other charges (for example, fees) due under the credit agreement in question.
The credit institution, however, is not obliged to do so, and may present the customer with a proposal for settlement that contemplates the phased payment of the amount owed.
Yes. Credit institutions are free to define the content of the settlement proposals they submit to bank customers under the out-of-court arrears settlement procedure (OASP). Such proposals must, however, be appropriate to the financial situation, objectives and needs of the bank customer.
In the course of the negotiation process, bank customers may, if they so wish, propose amendments to the proposal submitted by the credit institution, and the credit institution shall be free to accept or refuse such changes.
Yes. Face-to-face contacts or using means of distance communication with defaulting bank customers, promoted by the credit institution itself or other contracted entities, cannot be disloyal, excessive or disproportionate. The following are considered to be unfair, excessive or disproportionate, inter alia:
They give the bank customer wrong, inaccurate or misleading information;
They do not accurately identify the credit institution or service provider or do not indicate their contact details;
They have an aggressive or intimidating content;
They take place between 10 pm and 9 am in the bank customer’s time zone, unless expressly agreed between the credit institution and the bank customer in advance;
They are addressed to an address, telephone number or other contact information that has not been made available by the bank customer to the credit institution, unless where the contact information relating to the bank customer is publicly accessible.
When a credit agreement secured by a guarantor enters into default, the credit institution shall inform the guarantor, within 15 days of the due date of the obligation in question, of the delay and amounts due.
The guarantor may apply to be included in the out-of-court arrears settlement procedure (OASP) within 10 days of being contacted by the credit institution to pay the debt in lieu of the bank customer.
The guarantor’s OASP is an autonomous procedure in relation to the OASP developed for the defaulting bank customer. The parties may, however, agree on a single solution for the settlement of default.
Yes. Proposals for the out-of-court arrears settlement procedure (OASP) should be submitted to the bank customer via a durable medium. Credit institutions are obliged to comply with the information obligations applicable to the credit agreement concerned, in particular when the standardised information document is issued when a new contract is concluded.
No. Credit institutions cannot charge fees for the renegotiation of the terms of the credit agreement under the out-of-court arrears settlement procedure (OASP).
However, credit institutions may charge the bank customer for the costs incurred before third parties, such as payments to conservatories, notary offices or charges of a fiscal nature, by means of documentary evidence.
The extraordinary regime has not been in force since 1 January 2016. However, this regime will continue to apply to the requests submitted by bank customers until 31 December 2015.
The assistance network for indebted customers is a network of public and private entities duly empowered to provide information, advice and assistance to bank customers facing difficulties in complying with credit agreements. Access to these entities is free.
The entities that make up the assistance network for indebted customers are recognised by the Directorate-General for Consumers, following an opinion issued by Banco de Portugal. You can obtain more information about the entities that make up the assistance network for indebted customers on this website and on the website of the Directorate-General for Consumers (www.consumidor.pt).
In default situations, institutions may charge customers default interest, applying a maximum annual surcharge of 3%, in addition to the interest rate applicable to the transaction.
In such situations, the institutions may also require a single fee for the recovery of amounts owed. This fee may be charged only once, for each instalment due and not paid, and may not exceed 4% of the amount of the instalment, with a minimum value of 12 euros and a maximum value of 150 euros.
In addition to this fee, institutions may only pass on to customers the expenses incurred after their default, which have been borne before third parties, on presentation of the relevant documentary evidence.
Cards are payment instruments that may be classified into three types, according to their main function and manner in which funds are withdrawn:
Debit cards allow cardholders to carry out a series of transactions on their payment account (e.g. their demand account), chiefly cash withdrawals, payments, account balances and statement enquiries and, depending on the ATM network and the cards’ payment brands, card transfers. As a rule, when the card is used to carry out domestic transactions, the corresponding amount is immediately debited from the holder’s associated payment account.
Credit cards allow cardholders to make payments through a pre-established credit line from the card-issuing provider.
The deadline for payment of the card’s balance and the form of payment are agreed in advance between the customer and the payment service provider (typically, the bank). Should customers choose to pay the whole amount due by the established deadline, it is interest-free. Otherwise, interest is charged on the amount outstanding, in accordance with the contracted conditions.
As a rule, prepaid cards allow the same type of payment transactions as debit cards. However, they are not associated with a payment account. The amount available stored in the card is provided in advance by the cardholder to the issuer, and the corresponding amount is debited from it.
Deferred debit cards are a subtype of credit card. These cards are associated with a payment account and make it possible to pay for goods and services, and the corresponding amount is not immediately debited from that account. The total amount of transactions is debited at a pre agreed specific date, interest-free.
Banco de Portugal’s clarification on deferred debit cards (in Portuguese only)
Cards that perform exclusively a single type of function (debit, credit or prepaid) are single function cards. Cards that combine debit and credit functions are called dual or multi function cards.
Payment brand is any material or digital name, term, sign, symbol or combination thereof, capable of denoting under which payment card scheme payment transactions are carried out.
Payment brands identify payment systems for debit transactions (e.g. Multibanco, Visa Electron and Maestro) and payment systems for credit operations (e.g. Visa, MasterCard and American Express).
Co-badging means the inclusion of two or more payment brands on the same card.
Customers may request two or more payment brands on a single payment card, provided that such a service is offered by the payment service provider.
Prior to entering into a contractual agreement governing the use of the card, the payment service provider must inform their customers on all payment brands available and their characteristics (including their functionality, cost and security).
Payment service providers are not required to provide cards to their customers and are free to set their own criteria for providing cards to customers upon request.
However, in cases where customers hold a minimum banking services account, payment service providers must give them a debit card for transactions in that account.
According to the principle of contractual freedom, card-issuing payment service providers are free to decide whether or not they will issue or reissue a bank card to a certain customer. Likewise, customers are free to accept or refuse the issuers’ conditions with regard to the cards they issue.
However, given that the decision not to reissue a card constitutes a contractual change, card issuers must report it to the cardholders no later than two months before their proposed date of application.
Payment service providers must not send unsolicited cards, except where reissuing a card currently used by a customer.
No. No one is obliged to accept cards as a means of payment for any good or service. In Portugal, only euro banknotes and coins are legal tender, and must be accepted as a means of payment.
As a rule, payment brands are displayed on the POS terminal screen according to the pre established order when the payment card is issued. As such, if customers use a debit card featuring, first, an international payment brand (e.g. Visa Electron or Maestro) and, second, the national payment brand (Multibanco), the brands will be displayed on the POS terminal screen in that order.
Yes. Merchants can install automatic mechanisms in their POS terminals that make it possible to change the order in which brands are presented to the customer. However, these mechanisms cannot prevent the cardholder from choosing the payment brand for each specific payment, provided that the brands included on the card are accepted by the merchant. It is always incumbent on the cardholder to choose which brand to use.
Dual or multi-function cards incorporate credit and debit functions. These cards allow cardholders to debit from the associated deposit account, in the same terms as single-function debit cards, and make payments on credit.
When customers use a dual or multi-function card, they may choose in POSs the payment brands associated with the debit function (e.g. Visa Electron, Maestro or Multibanco), if they want the amount of that operation to be immediately debited from their demand deposit account, or the payment brand associated with the credit function (e.g. Visa or MasterCard), if they prefer to draw on the credit line associated with the card.
In Portugal, some credit cards may also be used to conduct debit transactions in ATMs (cash withdrawals, payment of services and bank transfers), but they cannot be used in POSs to make payments debiting from the demand deposit account.
Merchant fees are charged to those who receive payment transactions (as a rule, merchants) by the corresponding payment service providers, for each transaction settled with a bankcard in POSs. In general, this fee is a percentage of the sale value. Merchant fees are a way to pay the payment service provider, which has signed a contract for the utilisation of POSs with the merchant, for accepting payment brands and for the guarantee that funds will be received by the beneficiary.
Merchant fees include the interchange fee.
The interchange fee is a charge paid by the card acquiring payment service provider to the card-issuing payment service provider for every card-based payment transaction.
The interchange fee is a component of merchant fees and, where cardholders are consumers, its caps are legally set (Regulation (EU) 2015/751 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 29 April 2015 on interchange fees for card-based payment transactions).
Presently, in Portugal, for debit-card-based payment transactions, the interchange fee cannot be more than 0.2% of the transaction value. In credit-card-based payment transactions, this fee cannot be more than 0.3% of the transaction value.
Contactless payment cards are a type of bankcard that use a technology allowing cardholders to initiate a payment transaction by bringing the card close (typically, less than 4 cm) to a POS enabled for this type of transaction.
Cards and POSs enabled to process contactless payments bear the following symbol:
This technology is incorporated in payment cards, but may also be available in other mobile devices, such as smartphones, watches, bracelets, among other devices.
Making contactless payments is possible if, in addition to activating the card’s contactless technology, the POS is also enabled for this type of transaction. In those circumstances, it is sufficient for the cardholder to activate the card’s contactless technology to conduct this type of transaction.
The contactless technology is activated when the customer uses the card for the first time in an ATM or makes a payment for the first time in a POS, by inserting the card and entering the associated PIN.
Card issuers limit contactless payments before the PIN is entered: (i) to a maximum amount per transaction (typically, low-value payments), and (ii) to an overall amount of successive contactless transactions.
As a rule, bank customers may only make a contactless payment (i.e. without inserting the card in the POS and entering the associated PIN) if the value of the transaction is below €20 and the cumulative limit of €60 has not been reached.
At times, as a supplementary security measure, the PIN may be required even when limits set by the card issuer are not exceeded.
The card issuer must inform the customer about the conditions of use of the contactless card, more specifically on limits to their use when no PIN associated with the card is entered.
Regardless of whether card-based transactions are conducted via POSs or remotely, users, as a rule, must authenticate the payment transaction.
Transactions in POSs or ATMs are, as a rule, authenticated by the cardholder by entering the personal identification number (PIN). The PIN is personal and non-transferable and should be known by heart. Never, under any circumstances, should cardholders let third parties know their PIN.
In the case of payments using contactless technology, a PIN verification may not be required (for more details, see question 20).
In the case of off-premises sales, as a rule, the number of the card is required, as well as its validity date and the three-digit security code printed on the back of the card.
Payment cardholders should follow good practice for the use of cards, in both on premises and off-premises sales, to promote the safety of this payment instrument. These good practice guidelines are available for consultation (in Portuguese only) in the following documents:
Whatever the situation, you should immediately notify the payment service provider that issued the card, or the entity specified by the latter, following the procedures specified in the contract (which, at times, are also stated in the card’s monthly statements or the statement of the associated payment account). To know how to act, you should know the procedures and information detailed in the contract and be able to state the card number at all times.
To report the loss, theft, misappropriation or unauthorised use of your payment card, you may use the contacts provided below.
Contacts of payment card issuers: https://www.bportugal.pt/sites/default/files/anexos/documentos-relacionados/contactosdosemissorescartoes.pdf
After informing the card issuer of its loss, theft or misappropriation, excluding cases of intention and gross negligence, cardholders cannot be held liable for its use.
With regard to any unauthorised transaction following the loss, theft or misappropriation of a card, prior to notifying the card issuer (or the entity specified by the latter), cardholders are liable for losses that cannot exceed the balance available in the card account or the credit line associated with the account or the card, up to €150.
If cardholders do not comply with the terms governing the issuing and use of the card or do not notify, without any justification, the payment service provider of the card’s loss, theft or misappropriation, they are liable for all losses resulting from unauthorised transactions.
Merchants should follow good practice when accepting payment cards, in both on premises and off-premises sales, to foster this instrument’s security. These good practice guidelines may be consulted (in Portuguese only) in the following documents:
No. No one is obliged to accept cheques as a means of payment. In Portugal, only euro banknotes and coins are legal tender, and must be accepted as a means of payment.
No. The supply of cheque books by payment service providers to their customers is only possible after a contract has been concluded, the so-called ‘cheque convention’, which is voluntary for both parties.
Banks are prohibited from signing cheque conventions with the persons:
A document can only be legally considered a cheque if it includes the following items:
Payees are not obliged to accept cheques for payment, and may therefore stipulate the conditions under which they will accept a cheque from a given person.
The circulation of cheques is based on confidence; it is advisable that the payer and the payee are specified and duly identified.
To guarantee that a cheque is paid only to the payee stated in it, you should issue the cheque crossed ‘não à ordem’ (not to order), thus prohibiting an endorsement. If ‘à ordem’ (to order) is pre-printed on the cheque books, the issuer may cross it out and write ‘não à ordem’ after the name of the payee or in the space above the crossed-out words. It is particularly recommended to issue cheques ‘não à ordem’ in the case of cheques sent by mail.
No. The inclusion of a validity date on cheques is optional for banks according to their risk analysis.
This is not advisable, although the use of cheques with a pre-printed validity date after their expiry is not prohibited. In fact, the payee should not accept a cheque after its pre-printed validity date has expired, given that the payer’s bank may refuse payment due to ‘cheque apresentado fora de prazo’ (cheque submitted after expiry date). For the same reason, the payer should not write cheques after expiry of the respective validity date.
Cheques must be presented for payment within the time limit established in the Uniform Law on Cheques. As a rule, this is eight days from the issue date. Cheques presented for payment after the legal limit has expired may be returned by credit institutions for the following reasons: ‘cheque revogado – apresentação fora do prazo’ (revoked cheque – cheque submitted after expiry date) - upon indication of the payer – or ‘cheque apresentado fora do prazo’ (cheque submitted after expiry date) – upon decision of the credit institution.
This is not advisable. A post-dated cheque is a cheque whose given issue date post-dates the actual date of presentation to the payee. However, a cheque is a spot payment order and the payee may present it for payment before the date of issue given.
In that case, if there are sufficient funds available, banks will pay the cheque. If not, the cheque is returned.
If a cheque is certified or drawn against an account of the same institution where the deposit is being made, the funds are made available on the same day as the deposit.
If a cheque is from a different bank, the funds are made available on the second business day after the date of the deposit.
The deposit will only be effective after the cheque has been checked and certified by the credit institution, which shall occur within the shortest time possible, not exceeding 24 hours, counting from the date of deposit, except for exceptional situations or force majeure. The funds must be available by 3:00 p.m. on the second business day following the date of deposit.
Once presented for payment, cheques may be returned for a number of reasons, such as:
Cheque issuers may revoke a cheque (i.e. order the bank not to pay it) before the legal time limit (as a rule, eight days) for good reason (e.g. larceny, theft or loss). Banks are not responsible for checking the truthfulness of the reason for revocation.
However, if it is proven that the reason indicated by the issuer for cheque revocation is false, the payee may start legal proceedings against the issuer. This may mean that the payer is committing a criminal offence of issuing an unfunded cheque or fraud.
Customers should follow good practice to encourage the safe use of cheques, thus reducing the likelihood of cheques being presented for payment after being stolen or mislaid, by using a false endorsement. These good practice guidelines are available for consultation (in Portuguese only) in the following document:
You should inform your bank of the theft of cheque books you have not yet filled in, and request their revocation. You are thus ordering your bank not to pay these cheques if presented for payment.
Yes. If you are the payee of a cheque returned , you may re-present it for payment to your bank.
As a rule, fees and costs associated with returned cheques can only be charged to the cheque issuer, as set in the price list of each payment service provider.
Where the amounts in words and figures do not match, the amount in words shall prevail.
A certified cheque guarantees that the account has sufficient funds available for payment at the time this cheque is certified. In addition, the amount for which a cheque was issued must be set aside in the payer’s account for a period not less than the legal time limit for payment (as a rule, eight days).
Yes. Writing a cheque for an amount above €150 which is not fully paid due to lack of funds may constitute the crime of writing unfunded cheques, punishable with imprisonment for a term of up to three or five years, according to the cheque amount.
No. Although banks are obliged to pay cheques for amounts of €150 or less, even if the funds in the payer’s account are insufficient for payment, a bank may refuse to pay a cheque for an amount of €150 or less namely for the following reasons: serious signs of forgery, cheques submitted after time limit, irregular endorsement, loss.
You should ask your bank to provide information on this service, which entails a cost.
Yes, although domestic banks are not obliged to pay these cheques. Moreover, this type of cheque cannot be cleared. However, domestic banks may accept them for deposit. Funds are only available after its effective collection .
Fees charged by domestic banks for this service shall be clearly displayed at all branches.
No. A payee cannot oblige a payer to make payments by direct debit and vice versa. Both parties must agree to use it. In Portugal, only euro banknotes and coins are legal tender, and must be accepted as a means of payment.
In order to make payments through the direct debit system, a payee must agree to use this collection system and sign a contract with the payer establishing the terms and conditions for direct debit collection. Payers must authorise their payment service provider to debit payments initiated by the payee from their account. Direct debit mandates require the payer’s paper-based or digital signature. Direct debit mandates given over the phone or made by verbal agreement are not valid, except for direct debit mandates given over the phone if they are certified according to a probative convention previously agreed between payee and payer.
The payment service provider must also agree to pay direct debits, by entering with the payer into a payment services contract that includes direct debits. The contract establishes the rights and obligations of both parties regarding the payment of direct debits.
Direct debit mandates may be issued on paper or as an electronic document and must contain the necessary items to confirm that debtors have authorised the creditor to debit from their account, including the debtor’s signature. Creditors must decide how to obtain their customers’ authorisation to guarantee that their authenticity is not questioned in the event of a dispute.
Direct debit mandates given over the phone or made by verbal agreement are not valid nor sufficient, except for direct debit mandates given over the phone if they are certified according to a probative convention previously agreed between creditor and debtor. However, there is no mandatory format for direct debit mandates, which may be on paper or an electronic document. Nevertheless, pursuant to Regulation (EU) No 260/2012, of 14 March 2012, direct debit mandates, together with later modifications or cancellations, must be signed by debtors, manually or electronically, and stored by the creditor or a third party on behalf of the creditor.
The direct debit mandate reference number is a code given by creditors to a specific direct debit mandate. The reference must be unique, to unambiguously identify, when combined with the identifier of the creditor, the direct debit mandate within the direct debit system.
The direct debit mandate reference number must be unique, and must be filled in by the creditor when the mandate is signed by the debtor. However, if at that time it is not possible to provide that reference number, the creditor may provide it to the debtor subsequently, but always prior to the first payment collection.
The creditor identifier is a reference number that identifies the creditor within the direct debit system at European level, and comprises a creditor number followed by the ISO country code, two control digits and a business code. The country code is not directly related to any location feature or credit identity, and only specifies the country that issued the code. To make collections in any SEPA country, creditors need at least one identifier.
General structure of a SEPA creditor identifier:
Creditor identifiers issued in Portugal have the following format: PTAABBB123456
No. SEPA makes it possible for creditors to use a single identifier across the SEPA area. Creditors may request an identifier directly from the entity in charge of managing these identifiers on behalf of the banking community or delegate this task to the payment service provider offering the SEPA direct debt services.
In Portugal, national creditor identifiers may be allocated to entities operating in Portugal (i.e. with a Portuguese Business Identifier Code) and must be requested by support payment service providers (provided that they operate in Portugal) from the entity in charge of managing creditor identifiers domestically on behalf of the banking community: SIBS Forward Payment Solutions.
For more information on the allocation of creditor identifiers across SEPA countries, see Creditor Identifier Overview, published by the European Payments Council.
IBAN means “International Bank Account Number” and is a standardized structure for payment account identifiers. The IBAN makes possible to identify and validate a payment account within SEPA and may contain up to 34 characters. In Portugal, the IBAN consists of 25 alphanumeric characters and starts with ‘PT50’, followed by 21 digits, which correspond to the Bank Identification Number.
Yes, the creditor may accept a document signed by the debtor requesting that change. However, to better safeguard the creditor (in case of a request for reimbursement, for instance), we recommend that a new direct debit mandate be signed whenever one of the mandatory fields is modified (e.g. the IBAN).
No. According to the rules established in the European Payments Council’s SEPA Direct Debit Scheme, when the creditor’s identity is changed due to a merger or creation of a new corporate entity (by the creditor), to which collections are transferred, debtors are not required to sign new mandates. Nevertheless, following changes to the creditor’s identity, prior to initiating collections, the ‘new’ creditor must fully and in good time inform debtors of any changes to the mandates, more specifically identity changes (i.e. name, address, creditor identifier) and, where applicable, the allocation of a new direct debit mandate reference number.
There is no pre-established expiry date for direct debit mandates. However, debtors may set a time limit for a given direct debit mandate at an ATM of the Multibanco network, via homebanking or at the branches of payment service providers.
Debtors may, at any time, instruct their payment service provider to limit direct debits on their accounts:
Debtors may instruct their payment service provider to put in place all of these limits. In some cases, it is also possible to set up time limits and maximum amounts per collection at an ATM of the Multibanco network.
Yes, debtors may manage their direct debit mandates at ATMs and via homebanking (depending on the services offered by their payment service provider), more specifically, consult, change parameters of (maximum amount per collection and time limit for direct debit mandates) and suspend their direct debit mandates.
Furthermore, some creditors may give their customers the option to activate a new direct debit mandate via ATM or homebanking on their payment service provider’s website, using the reference number provided by the creditor.
No. Services related to the management of direct debit mandates (e.g. consulting, changing parameters of and cancelling direct debit mandates) available through the Multibanco network are accessible only to consumers with a bankcard operating a bank account opened with a payment service provider participating in both SEPA direct debits through Portugal and the Multibanco network. These services are offered by payment service providers to customers, unrelated to the origin of collections through a payment service provider from another country in SEPA.
Yes. Multibanco services that make it possible to consult, change parameters of (validity date and maximum amount of the mandate) and suspend direct debit mandates will still be available for debtors that have opened a payment account with a payment service provider participating in both the SEPA direct debits in Portugal and the Multibanco network. These services are accessible to debtors regardless of the nationality of the creditor’s payment service provider.
Yes. Creditors must pre-notify debtors of the debit transaction, pursuant to the terms of the contract, particularly as regards the period of prior notice. Furthermore, creditors may at that time also inform debtors of the creditor reference number and/or direct debit mandate, given that it is incumbent on them to provide debtors with the necessary information for the smooth functioning of the system.
Yes. Debtors may instruct their payment service provider to block this specific collection prior to the date established for debit, while the direct debit mandate will remain valid in future collections.
If the direct debit was executed less than eight weeks ago, you can request a refund to that amount from your payment service provider.
In any case, you have 13 months after the debit date to request rectification of any unauthorised or incorrectly executed debit. After this period, you can only obtain compensation from your creditor or by initiating appropriate court and/or out-of-court procedures.
Debtors must request that the respective creditors cancel the direct debit mandate. This cancellation is irreversible.
When debtors suspend a direct debit mandate, future collections submitted by the creditor may be rejected by the debtor’s payment service provider (according to the debtor’s instructions). Debtors may instruct their payment service provider to suspend a direct debit mandate via ATM or homebanking, or at a branch. Suspension of a mandate is reversible. Therefore, at any time, debtors may instruct their payment service provider to reactivate that mandate via the aforementioned channels. This service is available only in Portugal.
The suspension of the direct debit mandate does not affect the contractual relationship between the debtor and the creditor. As such, debtors must always bilaterally address with creditors the termination of their contractual relationship.
To cancel a direct debit mandate, debtors must expressly instruct creditors in that respect. The cancellation of a direct debit mandate is irreversible.
Debtors may request their payment service provider to refund executed direct debits, up to eight weeks from the debit date, provided that:
i) the direct debit mandate given by payers (debtors) does not state the exact debit amount at the time when it was issued;
ii) the debit amount exceeds that which payers (debtors) could reasonably expect on the basis of their prior expenditure profile, pursuant to the framework contract signed with the payment service provider and given the specific circumstances of the case.
However, if this has been expressly established in the framework contract signed between debtors and their payment service provider, debtors are entitled to a refund even where the aforementioned conditions are not met.
Upon receiving the request for a refund, the payment service provider has ten working days to restore the debited account, and may only refuse to repay if the conditions established in (i) and (ii) are not met and no agreement has been reached in this respect.
No. No one is obliged to accept credit transfers as a means of payment for any good or service. In Portugal, only euro banknotes and coins are legal tender, and must be accepted as a means of payment.
While in intrabank transfers the payer’s and the payee’s accounts are domiciled in the same payment service provider, in interbank transfers the accounts are domiciled in different payment service providers.
Interbank transfers may also be domestic, if both providers are located in the same country, or cross-border, if providers are located in different countries.
Yes. Following the publication of Regulation (EU) No 260/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council, of 14 March 2012 (amended by Regulation (EU) No 248/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council, of 26 February 2014), technical and business requirements for credit transfers and direct debits in euro were established.
Therefore, in countries across the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) (i.e. in EU Member States, Andorra, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Norway, San Marino, Switzerland and Vatican), payment service users may make and receive credit transfers in euro via a single payment account, subject to the same rules and obligations as in Portugal. This means that, as regards execution times, value dates, costs, fees and information needed to initiate credit transfers, the execution of a credit transfer between accounts domiciled in Portugal is similar to that of a credit transfers between, for instance, an account in Portugal and an account domiciled in France.
Currently, only technical and business standards of SEPA credit transfer and SEPA direct debit schemes established by the European Payments Council in its Rulebooks and implementation guidelines meet the conditions specified in the aforementioned Regulation. These schemes are based on the ISO 20022 XML standards and aim for the fully automated processing of payments between the payer’s payment service provider and the payee’s payment service provider (end-to-end straight-through processing).
Since the introduction of euro banknotes and coins on 1 January 2002, those from euro area countries are able to pay in cash using a single currency in any euro area country, as easily as they did in their own country using their national currency.
The establishment of SEPA strengthened monetary integration and helped overcome technical, legal and market barriers that persisted in the period prior to the introduction of the single currency. Households, enterprises and general government bodies can make cashless payments across the SEPA area (EU Member States and Andorra, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Norway, San Marino, Switzerland and Vatican), using a single payment account domiciled in any country within the SEPA area and a single set of payment instruments (credit transfers, direct debits and payment cards).
To execute credit transfers payment service providers must be informed of the following:
Where available, the name of the payee and any remittance data (additional information on the transaction) must also be provided.
Enterprises (except for microenterprises) and general government bodies must use the ISO 20022 XML format whenever they transmit payment batches to their payment service providers.
However, payment service providers and software companies may provide services to their customers that convert PS2 (or similar) files to the ISO 20022 XML format in line with SEPA requirements. The eventual use of conversion services will only be allowed if the following conditions are met:
Yes. Payment service providers must implement a Customer-to-Bank (C2B) channel compatible with SEPA standards, offering their customers a file layout compatible with standard ISO 20022 XML messages.
Against this background, to simplify links between customers and payment service providers, the Portuguese banking community has developed a harmonised communication format applicable to SEPA credit transfers and SEPA direct debits.
On Banco de Portugal’s website there is a customer-bank communication manual (C2B – Customer to Bank Services), recommended in order to maximise one of the advantages offered by SEPA: the use of a harmonised communication format, facilitating execution of payment transactions via several payment service providers or even to replace a support payment service provider.
In credit transfers domiciled in the same payment service provider (intrabank transfers), the payee’s account must be credited on the same day, with the simultaneous release of funds and allocation of a value date.
In credit transfers between payment accounts domiciled in different payment service providers (interbank transfers), the account of the payee’s payment service provider must be credited by the end of the business day following receipt of the order. The payee’s payment account must be credited by his payment service provider immediately and funds released on that day (with the allocation of a value date of that day). This applies to credit transfers in euro and, unless otherwise agreed, also to transfers denominated in the currencies of non-euro area EU Member States (in any case, the payee’s account must be credited within four business days).
In the case of paper-based transfers, the time limit can be extended by one business day.
Technical requirements of the so-called ‘SEPA scheme’, i.e. the requirements established in Regulation (EU) No 260/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council, of 14 March 2012, apply only to transactions in euro.
SEPA transactions cannot exceed EUR 999,999,999.99.
No. Prices of credit transfers vary depending on the payment service provider’s price list. The principle of equality of charges only applies to similar transactions executed by the same provider. This means that, provided that the customer indicates the IBAN for the payee’s payment account, domiciled in a SEPA country, charges on cross-border credit transfers cannot exceed those that the same payment service provider applies to domestic credit transfers.
Rules on charges for consumers on cross-border transfers within the EU are laid down in Regulation (EC) No 924/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council, of 16 September 2009, on cross-border payments in euro, Swedish kronor or Romanian lei, in the following countries:
For the execution of a credit transfer the payer and the payee are only required to pay the charges levied by the respective payment service provider. Moreover, the payment service provider executing a credit transfer must transfer the full amount indicated by the payer to be transferred.
Electronic money is an electronically stored monetary value that can be used to make payment transactions, i.e. to deposit, transfer or withdraw funds. The monetary value must correspond to the amount of banknotes and coins or book-entry currency that is delivered by the acquirer of that currency (the customer with electronic money) to the issuer of the electronic money in order to carry out the payment transactions.
An exchange rate is the relative price of two currencies.
It indicates the amount of currency that can be bought/sold through the sale/purchase of a unit of another currency (base currency).
For example, a EUR/USD exchange rate of 1.5415 means that to get 1 euro it is necessary to deliver USD 1.5415, that is, each euro is worth USD 1,5415.
It is possible to exchange foreign currency in credit institutions and in exchange offices registered with Banco de Portugal. The list of institutions authorised to exchange foreign currency is published on Banco de Portugal’s website. Banco de Portugal does not exchange foreign currency.
The exchange rates applied by credit institutions and exchange offices are freely set by these entities. The sales and purchase values must, however, be duly publicised.
The reference exchange rates published by Banco de Portugal are merely informative.
All fees charged to customers for the currency exchange must be included in the price lists of institutions.
When institutions do not charge fee for currency exchange, these costs may be implicit in the exchange rates practiced by these institutions.
You can obtain the amount in a given currency (for example, euros, dollars, pounds) in an amount expressed in another currency using the currency converter available on Banco de Portugal’s website.
The calculations are made on the basis of the daily reference rates published by Banco de Portugal and the European Central Bank.
The reference rates published by Banco de Portugal and the European Central Bank are, however, merely informative and therefore may not correspond to the amount actually charged by credit institutions and exchange offices. Entities authorised to exchange foreign currency can freely set the exchange rates they practice.
The exchange rate always presupposes two quotations: one for selling (bid) – applicable when the bank customer wants to sell the currency concerned – and one for buying (offer) – applicable when the bank customer wants to buy the currency.
By convention, the bid exchange rates are presented on the left and the offer exchange rates are presented on the right.
Therefore, when the EUR/USD price of 1,5326/1,5328 is presented, it means that:
if you want to sell one euro, you will receive USD 1,5326;
if you want to buy one euro, you will have to pay USD 1,5328.
The selling rate is always lower than the buying rate.
When you conduct banking operations, either in person or through digital channels, you may be subject to different types of financial fraud:
Fraudulent schemes, like:
proposals for the application of remunerated money well above the market average, by means of contacts at home, by telephone, by email or by other means;
credit offers made by individuals or other entities not authorised to carry out the activity;
pyramid schemes, where an initial cash application is usually proposed, whose remuneration depends on the applications that the person can get in the future from other people;
the “Letters from Nigeria”, with proposals to transfer monetary funds from or to abroad, in which an initial amount is requested with the promise of a high gain resulting from the transfer;
Unauthorised use of payment instruments, such as:
card cloning – misappropriation, in an automatic payment terminal, of data relating to a payment card;
fraudulent filling in of a cheque – for example, changing the amount payable by cheque;
use of counterfeit banknotes and coins;
Online fraud, such as:
Phishing – This occurs when an unknown entity (hacker) passes themselves off as an institution or company, and through emails, telephone calls (vishing), or SMS messages (smishing) attempts to persuade a bank customer to disclose personal information, such as security card coordinates, passwords, and bank account numbers.
Pharming – This occurs when a computer virus that is installed on a computer, tablet or smartphone redirects the hyperlink (link) entered by the customer to a false web page (the so-called ‘mirror page’), in some cases identical to the official page of the credit institution, allowing third parties to obtain all the confidential information written by the user on this false page.
Spyware – This is a malicious program that installs itself on the customer’s computer, tablet or smartphone without their being aware of it. Once installed, the program detects if the customer is accessing a protected internet page, such as homebanking pages, and records the data entered by the user.
To protect yourself from fraudulent situations:
check that you are in contact with an entity authorised by Banco de Portugal to carry out banking operations and payments before carrying out any operation. To do this, consult the list of authorised institutions available on Banco de Portugal’s website;
do not reply to suspicious contacts or unknown sources;
request all the information that, in each situation, you deem necessary;
be careful in the use of your personal data, your bank account (or payment account) and payment instruments. Observe all security procedures transmitted by the institution, especially when performing banking operations through digital channels;
If you suspect that you have been the victim of financial fraud or are suspicious of any situation related to the use of your personal data, contact your institution immediately and report what happened.
After this contact, report the fraudulent situation to the nearest criminal police department – Public Security Police (PSP), National Republican Guard (GNR) or Judicial Police (PJ) – or to the Public Prosecutor’s Office.
If you receive an email message whose sender or the content arouses your suspicions, namely because you do not know its origin, do not click on the links indicated or perform the requested actions. Do not disclose personal data (such as password, IBAN, ID number, etc.).
If you have entered your personal data or downloaded documents without first verifying the authenticity of the sender, immediately report the situation to your institution and to the judicial authorities.
Immediately notify the payment service provider (e.g. the bank), or the entity designated by the payment service provider, using the procedures set out in the agreement (which are sometimes also indicated in the associated bank account statements).
If you have any questions, please contact your institution immediately so that the institution can inform you of the procedures to be followed.
As a rule, the customer (payment service user) bears the losses on unauthorised payment transactions resulting, for example, from improper use of personal data, within the limit of the available balance or credit line associated with the account, up to a maximum of 50 euros.
However, the user shall bear all losses resulting from unauthorised operations if they are due to:
fraudulent action of the customer;
failure to use the payment instrument according to the respective conditions;
failure to communicate to the payment service provider, without unwarranted delays and within a period never exceeding 13 months, of misappropriation or any unauthorised use of that payment instrument.
In the event of serious negligence on the part of the user, the user will bear the losses resulting from unauthorised payment transactions up to the limit of the available balance or credit line associated with the account, even if they exceed EUR 50, depending on the nature of the payment instrument and the circumstances of their loss, theft or misappropriation.
The user shall not bear losses resulting from the use of a lost, stolen or appropriated payment instrument after having communicated this situation to the payment service provider (e.g. their bank), or to the entity designated by them, without undue delay, except if they have acted fraudulently.
The Fees Comparator is a tool that allows you to quickly and easily compare fees related to payment account services, such as account maintenance (including package account maintenance), provision of debit and credit cards, cash withdrawals, cheque acquisitions and transfers.
Using the Fees Comparator, the maximum fees charged by institutions may be compared by institution or by service, depending on the respective distribution channel.
The Fees Comparator allows you to compare the maximum fees associated with the following services:
• Maintenance of an account;
• Maintenance of a package account;
• Maintenance of a basic bank account;
• Maintenance of a standard account;
• Provision of a debit card;
• Provision of a credit card;
• Provision of a private credit card;
• Cash withdrawal;
• Cash advance;
• Requisition and delivery of to-order crossed cheques;
• Requisition and delivery of not-to-order crossed cheques;
• Intrabank credit transfer;
• Intrabank standing order;
• SEPA+ credit transfer;
• SEPA+ standing order;
• Non-SEPA+ credit transfer;
• Non-SEPA+ standing order.
For more information on each of the services included in the Fees Comparator, refer to the glossary here and the icon “i” associated to each service in the tool.
The fees presented are set freely by institutions within the limits and conditions established by law.
For information on other fees, refer to the fees and expenses leaflet and the price list of each institution, also available here on this Website.
The Fees Comparator provides information on fees for a range of services associated with payment accounts charged by credit institutions, payment institutions and electronic money institutions with their headquarters or a branch in Portugal, and by financial credit companies.
The Fees Comparator does not include fees on the services provided by institutions that operate in Portugal strictly under the freedom to provide services.
For more information on the institutions authorised to operate in Portugal, refer to the information available here.
For information on other fees, you should refer to the fees and expenses leaflet and the price list of each institution. The price list contains information on the maximum fees charged by institutions and is available in their branches, on their websites and also on this Website.
The Fees Comparator allows you to compare all the fees for certain services from several institutions. Choose the option ‘by institution’ and select the institutions whose fees you wish to compare. This option allows you to simultaneously compare the fees charged by up to three institutions.
The Fees Comparator allows you to compare the fees charged by all institutions for one or more services. Choose the option ‘by service’ and select the services whose fees you wish to compare. This option allows you to simultaneously compare the fees associated with up to three services.
The Fees Comparator is optimised for a resolution of 1170px. For this reason, you may have difficulty viewing your search results when using a mobile phone or tablet. If it is difficult to view the information, check the resolution of the equipment you are using.
You can download the data on all fees into an Excel file by clicking on the relevant button on the bottom tool bar.
Yes. You can sort the results by alphabetical order, in the case of institutions or services, or in ascending or descending order, in the case of the fee amount.
If you wish to organise the search results according to these or other criteria, you can export the data into an Excel file by clicking on the relevant button on the bottom tool bar.
Yes. You can print the results of searches made on the Fees Comparator by clicking on the relevant button on the bottom tool bar.
The Fees Comparator allows you to download files in .xls or .csv format with data on all the existing fees and a record of all fees charged by all institutions that provide the services included in the Fees Comparator. To do this, click on the button ‘export all data’ on the bottom tool bar and select the desired option.
Yes. Institutions are required to inform Banco de Portugal of any changes to the information included in the Fees Comparator at least five working days prior to the date on which the change will take place.
Banco de Portugal updates the information included in the Fees Comparator on a daily basis (on weekdays) up to 12 am (midnight) based on the data supplied by institutions.
Yes. The Fees Comparator shows the maximum fees applicable to each of the services provided.
Institutions can charge a lower amount or even exempt their customers from paying fees. These situations are specific to institutions’ practices and may depend on the customer’s choice to make certain commitments to the institution or to purchase other products or services simultaneously.
For more information on any reductions or exemptions applicable to fees, please refer to the price lists available on this Website, ask the institution and carefully analyse the conditions that are being offered before signing the agreement.
Yes. The Fees Comparator shows the maximum fee chargeable for the services included therein and these amounts already include taxes at the legal rate in force.
Institutions are responsible for keeping the information provided in the Fees Comparator accurate, true and up-to-date.
If you detect a discrepancy between the amounts shown in the Fees Comparator and the amounts charged by an institution, you can file a complaint by filling in that institution’s complaints book or, if you prefer, you can file the complaint directly with Banco de Portugal.
However, please bear in mind that institutions may charge a lower amount than the amount shown in the Fees Comparator, since the fees shown correspond to the maximum amount that can be charged, regardless of any exemptions or discounts.
ATS are automated teller safes that belong to private networks of institutions and ATMs are automated teller machines that belong to shared networks (like the Multibanco network).
Access to the ATS network is restricted to customers of the institution that owns the ATM, my means of a card issued by that institution or, in the case of some institutions and some ATMs, through a bank book.
ATMs are accessed by means of a payment card of a brand accepted by the terminal (Multibanco, American Express, Maestro, MasterCard, Visa, Visa Electron, among others), issued by any entity duly authorised to do so.
You can obtain more information on the terms and expressions used in the Fees Comparator in the glossary available here, which is also accessible via the relevant button on the bottom tool bar.
In the mobile channel, consumers access the banking products and services via an ‘app’, using their mobile phone, smartphone or tablet.
In the online channel, consumers access the service via an internet browser, using a computer, smartphone or tablet.
No. The fee amount shown in the Fees Comparator corresponds to the maximum annual amount that the institution may charge for the account maintenance service. To find out how often the fee is charged, please refer to the information provided in the Fees Comparator in the field ‘frequency of charge’.
A package account includes the management of a payment account (for example, a current account) as well as the provision of a range of products and services associated to it. A single fee – associated to the maintenance of the package account – is charged by the institution for the joint management of the payment account and the associated services.
The package account is distinct from the basic bank account and standard account since the services associated to the basic bank account and the standard account are standardised and therefore the same in all institutions. The associated services and characteristics of the package are freely established by the institutions offering them.
No. Unlike the basic bank account and standard account, whose services and products are defined and standardised and the same in all institutions, package accounts allow different services to be associated (for example, debit and/or credit cards or a certain number of transfers) to a payment account (usually a current account). A single fee is charged for the management of these accounts.
The package accounts, whose fees are shown in the Fees Comparator, are the institution’s most representative product and are not targeted at specific customer segments.
Given that the characteristics and services associated with each package account are defined by the institution, carefully analyse the conditions of each package account and the services included in it and ask for detailed information from the institution concerned. You can also obtain more information on the conditions applicable to each package account by referring to the institutions’ price lists.
The fee amount shown in the Fees Comparator corresponds to the maximum annual fee amount applicable to the first debit card holder. The fee applicable to the other holders for the provision of the debit card may be different from that shown in the Fees Comparator.
For more information on the fees applicable to the other card holders, refer to the institutions’ price lists.
The fee amounts shown in the Fees Comparator correspond to the maximum annual fees applicable to the first holders of the credit card or private credit card. The fees applicable to the other card holders for the provision of a credit card and a private credit card may be different from those shown in the Fees Comparator.
A private credit card is a card that can only be used in a limited manner and that enables the holder:
A universal credit card, on the other hand, can be used in any service provider that accepts credit payments for the acquisition of any goods or services.
No. The fee shown in the Fees Comparator for this service refers to a maximum fee for a cash advance in the amount of EUR 200 (or its equivalent in Swedish krona or Romanian lei), made with a credit card in any of the countries of the European Economic Area (i.e. the 28 Member States of the European Union, Norway, Liechtenstein and Iceland).
No. The amount shown in the Fees Comparator for a cash advance refers to the maximum fee associated with a cash advance of EUR 200 (or its equivalent in Swedish krona or Romanian lei), made with a credit card in any of the countries of the European Economic Area (i.e. the 28 Member States of the European Union, Norway, Liechtenstein and Iceland).
Institutions may charge fees other than those shown in the Fees Comparator for cash advances of less than or more than EUR 200.
Likewise, institutions may also charge fees other than those shown in the Fees Comparator in the case of cash advances made in currencies other than the euro, Swedish kronor and Romanian leu or outside the European Economic Area.
For information on the fees applicable to a cash advance of amounts other than EUR 200 (or its equivalent in Swedish krona or Romanian lei), made in a currency other than the euro, Swedish kronor and Romanian leu or outside the European Economic Area, see the institutions’ price lists.
No. The Fees Comparator shows the maximum fee charged by the reporting institution in relation to a cash withdrawal in euro (or its equivalent in Swedish krona or Romanian lei) made with a debit card in Portugal and in the other countries that are part of the European Economic Area (which includes the 28 Member States of the European Union, Norway, Liechtenstein and Iceland).
By legal imposition, institutions that provide debit cards cannot charge any fee for the withdrawal of cash in euro (or its equivalent in Swedish krona or Romanian lei) made with a debit card in ATMs and ATSs located in Portugal and in the other countries that make up the European Economic Area.
Yes. The Fees Comparator provides information on the fees applicable to the requisition and delivery of to-order and not-to-order crossed cheques.
Yes. The fee amount shown is the maximum for the requisition and delivery of a single cheque, or, where institutions only provide cheque modules, to the amount of the division of the maximum fee applicable to the module with the lowest number of cheques by the number of cheques that make up this module. In this case, the module and the number of cheques that make up the module are identified in the field ‘cheque module’.
The amount shown in the Fees Comparator for intrabank credit transfers corresponds to the maximum fee for a credit transfer in the indicative amount of EUR 99,999.99 carried out between accounts of the same credit institution with different holders, i.e. where the payer and the payee are not the same entity.
For information on fees applicable to intrabank credit transfers between accounts with the same holder, refer to the institutions’ price lists.
A SEPA+ credit transfer corresponds to a transfer of funds in euro, Swedish krona or Romanian lei carried out under the same conditions between accounts which are held in SEPA countries (i.e. the 28 Member States of the European Union, Andorra, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Norway, San Marino, Switzerland and the Vatican).
A SEPA+ standing order corresponds to regular transfers of a fixed amount in euro, in Swedish krona or Romanian lei carried out under the same conditions between accounts that are held in SEPA countries (i.e. the 28 Member States of the European Union, Andorra, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Norway, San Marino, Switzerland and the Vatican).
A non-SEPA+ credit transfer is a transfer of funds in which the amount of the payer, the payee or both is not based in the SEPA area (which includes the 28 Member States of the European Union, Andorra, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Norway, San Marino, Switzerland and the Vatican), or in which the transfer is made in a currency other than the euro, the Swedish kronor or the Romanian leu, even where the institution of the originator, of the beneficiary or of both is based in the SEPA area.
Non-SEPA+ transfers are, for example: (i) the transfer of funds in Danish krona between accounts based in Portugal and Denmark, or (ii) the transfer of funds made in euro between accounts based in Portugal and Canada.
A non-SEPA+ standing order corresponds to regular transfers of funds in which the institution of the originator, of the beneficiary or of both is not based in the SEPA area (which includes the 28 Member States of the European Union, Andorra, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Norway, San Marino, Switzerland and the Vatican) or in which the transfer is made in a currency other than the euro, the Swedish kronor or the Romanian leu, even where the institution of the originator, of the beneficiary or of both is based in the SEPA area.
A non-SEPA+ standing order can also be a standing order made in a currency other than the euro, the Swedish kronor or the Romanian leu, even where the institution of the originator, of the beneficiary or of both is located in the SEPA area.
Yes. In the intrabank credit transfer, intrabank standing order, SEPA+ credit transfer, SEPA+ standing order, non-SEPA+ credit transfer and non-SEPA+ standing order services, the fee shown corresponds to the highest fee for the maximum transfer amount allowed in each distribution channel (branch, ATM, ATS, mobile device, telephone or online), provided that this maximum amount does not exceed EUR 99,999.99.
Therefore, in cases where the institution does not allow transfers of more than EUR 5,000 at the ATM, the fee shown in the Fees Comparator corresponds to the maximum fee applicable to a transfer in the amount of EUR 5,000, ordered via the ATM. If the maximum amount for transfers made online is, for example, EUR 2,500, the fee shown in the Fees Comparator corresponds to the maximum fee applicable to a transfer ordered online, in the amount of EUR 2,500.
Please note that the Fees Comparator does not identify the maximum amount of the transfer allowed through a specific distribution channel (i.e. in the previous example, the Fees Comparator does not show the amount of EUR 5,000 or of EUR 2,500, only the amount of the fee associated to the service). For more information on the existing limits on credit transfers, contact the institution.
Yes, institutions may charge fees associated with banking products and services.
The amount of the fees is freely established by each institution, within the limits and under the conditions established by law.
However, institutions have to inform their customers about the fees they charge. For example, when bank customers open a current account or enter into a credit agreement, the institution must inform them about the fees applicable. This information must be included in the pre-contractual information (standardised information sheet) and in the contract.
Institutions may also charge expenses corresponding to other charges borne by the institutions, which are required by third parties. Institutions may pass on these expenses to customers because they relate, in particular, to payments to conservatories, notary offices or have a fiscal nature.
The fees and main expenses related to operations and services provided by institutions are included in the price list. Institutions must make the price list available in all branches and websites.
The price list is the set of information on the general conditions of financial products and services made available to the public by credit institutions.
The price list comprises:
the leaflet of fees and expenses, which includes the maximum amounts of all fees and the indicative value of the main expenses due to customers;
the leaflet of interest rates, which includes information on the representative interest rates practiced by credit institutions in their most common operations.
The price list also contains information on how to submit complaints to Banco de Portugal, to the operation of the Deposit Guarantee Fund, as well as the value and availability dates applicable to deposits, transfers and discount operations.
Credit institutions must disclose their price list in all their branches and places of public service, in a conspicuous place of direct access, in an easy reference device, as well as on their websites, without the need for previous registration by the interested parties.
The fees and expenses leaflet can also be found on this website.
No. The fees and expenses leaflet contains the maximum amount of all fees payable by customers. Fees that are not on the price list or that exceed the amounts indicated in the price list cannot be charged.
Fees correspond to the payment of the services provided by institutions in the scope of their activity or subcontracted by them to third parties.
Institutions are free to charge amounts lower than those indicated in the price list.
Yes. The expenses shown in the price list are purely indicative and, therefore, institutions may charge other expenses than those provided for therein.
However, only expenses which, not corresponding to fees, are borne by the credit institutions and required by third parties, namely payments to conservatories, notary offices or those having a fiscal nature, are considered as expenses.
Where contracts concluded with customers allow institutions to change contractual conditions by changing the price list, institutions must communicate to the respective customers the content of such changes at least 30 days before the date set for their application, unless different deadlines apply, in accordance with specific rules defined by law or by regulations of Banco de Portugal.
No. Only a few credit institutions can receive deposits from the public.
Of the credit institutions, only banks, savings banks, the Central Agricultural Credit Bank and mutual agricultural credit banks are authorised to receive deposits from the public.
You can consult these institutions in the list of authorised institutions available Banco de Portugal’s website.
Only credit institutions and certain financial companies may carry out credit operations on a professional basis, including the granting of guarantees and other commitments, financial leasing and factoring.
Payment institutions and electronic money institutions may grant credit only on an ancillary basis and for the execution of payment transactions.
Credit institutions, financial companies, payment institutions and electronic money institutions authorised to operate in Portugal must be registered with Banco de Portugal.
You can consult the list of authorised institutions on Banco de Portugal’s website.
While banks may practice all types of operations authorised to credit institutions, the remaining institutions may only carry out the activities and perform the operations permitted by the legal and regulatory rules governing their activity.
On the websites of credit institutions, financial companies, payment institutions and electronic money institutions, you can obtain information about the activities that they can carry out.
You can get more information about the activities of each type of institution in “Institutions > Type of institutions”.
You can also consult Banco de Portugal’s website for alerts on unauthorised financial activity, that is, on entities that operate without the necessary authorisation, detected by Banco de Portugal or other supervisory authorities.
Yes. Credit intermediaries are subject to the supervision of Banco de Portugal.
No. Entities that grant credit collateralised by goods (pawnshops) are not subject to the supervision of Banco de Portugal and are not included in the list of entities authorised by it.
Consequently, Banco de Portugal has no jurisdiction to regulate, supervise or sanction such entities, nor to assess complaints or claims regarding their operation.
You can go to your bank branch from Monday to Friday, between 08:30 am and 3:00 pm, with the exception of national, municipal and bank holidays (provided for in the Collective Bargaining Agreement). Your bank branch is therefore closed on the following days:
8, 24 and 25 December;
Municipal holiday of each municipality.
However, you can carry out some banking operations through ATMs or other automatic equipment operated by the public that are provided by credit institutions at their branches. Bank customers should inquire about this possibility.
Only elderly people over the age of 65 years who also have an obvious change or limitation of their physical or mental functions are entitled to priority attendance.
Only a person accompanied by a child up to the age of two is considered a “Person carrying an infant”.
Spyware – This is a malicious program that installs itself on the customer’s computer, tablet or smartphone without their being aware of it. Once installed, the program detects if the customer is accessing a protected internet page, such as homebanking pages, and records the dat