Rights and duties when making deposits

Bank customers have a set of rights and duties when making bank deposits.

 

Rights of depositors

 

Customers are entitled to a refund of the total amount deposited:

  • At any time – in current accounts;

  • On the due date of the deposit or early withdrawal (if permitted) – in time deposits. In case of early withdrawal of a time deposit, the amount withdrawn must be available up to the business day following the receipt of the notice of the request for withdrawal, unless other conditions are established in the deposit agreement.

Customers are also entitled to receive remuneration for the funds deposited, if provided for in the contract. This remuneration must be paid by the business day following the last day of the corresponding interest period.

The amounts applied in bank deposits constituted in Portugal are protected by the Deposits Guarantee Fund, the Mutual Agricultural Credit Guarantee Fund or, where applicable, by the guarantee system of the country of the head-office of the institution, up to the maximum amount of EUR 100 000 per depositor and per institution.

Before opening an account or setting up a deposit, bank customers are entitled to receive a clear and complete set of information about the characteristics of the deposit they intend to contract, so that they can compare alternatives and make an informed decision.

This information should include:

  • the standardised information sheet – in the case of simple deposits, such as a current account or a fixed-rate or variable-rate time deposit;

  • the key information document – in the case of a structured deposit;

  • the fee information document – in the case of payment accounts (such as current accounts).

In both simple deposits and structured deposits, institutions must also provide bank customers with information on the protection of their deposits, by providing them with the depositor information template.

The maximum fees associated with deposit accounts and payment instruments are published in the credit institutions’ price list and on this website.

Customers are entitled to receive a copy of the contract when entering into the contract of the current account or other types of deposit.

This contract must include the applicable general conditions as well as the information items contained in its standardised information sheet (for simple deposits) or the respective key information document (for structured deposits).

During the term of the deposit, customers have the right to view the contractual conditions, at their request, at the credit institutions.

Bank customers should be informed of changes to the contractual conditions of the current accounts, deposits redeemable at notice or other deposits of indefinite duration at least two months before their application.

Customers should also be informed about the new conditions applicable to automatically renewable time deposits, in sufficient time to be able to oppose the renewal.

During the term of the deposit agreement, credit institutions must provide customers with a statement with information on the transactions made in their deposit accounts. This information can also be provided through a bankbook.

In current accounts, statements must be provided monthly, except if there have been no transactions in the account (in which case an annual statement must be made available).

Statements relating to time deposits must be provided monthly or on the due date for deposits with a maturity of up to and including one year and annually for deposits with a maturity of more than one year.

In addition to this statement, payment service providers must send a free statement of fees every January to bank customers who are consumers. Among other information this document should contain information on all the fees charged throughout the preceding year in relation to the services associated with payment accounts.

In the case of other bank customers, in January of each year, credit institutions should send the customer a free statement of fees that details all the fees and charges associated with the current account paid during the previous calendar year.

Institutions are also required to provide depositors with the depositor information template at least once a year in the medium and through the means of communication agreed with the customer to provide periodic information on the deposit.

Furthermore, payment service providers must provide, whenever so requested by bank customers who are consumers, the fee information document, showing the fees for the most representative services associated with the payment account, in addition to a glossary containing harmonised terminology.

Customers have the right to close their current account. They may be required to give notice up to one month in advance.

For private customers and for micro-enterprises the closure has no costs.

If the customer intend to transfer the account to another institution, he/she may file a request for a change of account with the institution for which he/she wishes to change his/her account. It is up to the two institutions involved in the process to carry out the tasks necessary for account change.

Duties of depositors

Customers must read the information provided by the credit institution. They should inquire about the characteristics of the different deposits and compare them with the alternatives.

When comparing current accounts, they should take into account:

  • charges associated with the account, for example, maintenance fees;

  • charges associated with carrying out payment transactions from this account, for example, charges for cards, transfers or direct debits;

  • existence of overdraft facilities and respective costs.

When comparing time deposit accounts, they should take into account:

  • the nominal annual rate (in the case of simple interest) and the effective annual rate (in the case of compound interest);

  • the term of the deposit;

  • the possibility of withdrawing the funds deposited in advance and possible interest penalties.

Customers should read the contract carefully for the act of the signing the agreement shows their agreement with the said conditions.

Customers must provide the credit institution with the identification elements required by law when signing a deposit agreement. Credit institutions may request other elements that they consider essential depending on the type of deposit account.

During the term of the deposit agreement, customers must report any changes to these elements.

The information that credit institutions have on identification elements, deposit accounts and their movements and other banking operations may only be disclosed or used upon authorisation given to the credit institution by the account holder.

Customers must ensure that the balance in the deposit account must be enough to cope with the movements they make.

If a bank overdraft is used, they must repay the overdraft and pay interest and any fees and expenses associated with the overdraft.