​As the national monetary authority, the Bank of Finland monitors realisation of the right of citizens to basic banking services, such as a basic payment account and account facilities. In recent years, the handling of personal banking affairs has increasingly migrated to electronic and online services. The use of cash and services at bank branches has declined, and banks are providing less of these services. Although, taken as a whole, the availability of banking services is at a good level, not all bank customers, such as senior citizens or special groups, are able to make full use of electronic services.
The availability of cash and banking services constitutes an essential element of a well-functioning financial system. In order to ensure the reliable and effective functioning of the Finnish financial system, the Bank of Finland, as the monetary authority, monitors developments in the availability of cash services in cooperation with the Financial Supervisory Authority (FIN-FSA).
Credit institutions accepting deposits also need to make it possible for their customers to withdraw their deposits in cash. The Bank of Finland considers it important that banks thus bear their social responsibility and provide for the sufficient availability of cash and banking services.
In changing their service agreements, banks are required to comply with the provisions of the relevant FIN-FSA Standard (2.3 on financial services agreements): the customer must be notified of changes in advance in writing and be given an opportunity to terminate the contract without incurring expenses. In restricting the provision of cash and banking services, banks must be able to explain and justify their measures, and so inform their customers in good time. Banks should give particular consideration to how all the customers will be ensured ongoing access to the services they may need.
For further information, please contact:
Mauri Lehtinen, Head of Department, tel. +358 10 831 3473
Päivi Heikkinen, Head of Division, tel. +358 10 831 2137.