The Italian Competition Authority has opened an investigation against Intesa Sanpaolo S.p.A. and Isybank S.p.A., the digital bank of the Intesa Sanpaolo Group, with reference to the transfer of several hundred thousand current account holders from Intesa Sanpaolo to Isybank.
The Authority has received approximately 2,000 complaints relating to the transfer plan that provides for the transfer of customers that Intesa Sanpaolo defines, in the communication sent to them, as “mainly digital”, that is, customers who “are familiar with digital services and channels, as well as consumer customers who, in any case, make no or limited use of branches”. In the same document, customers were given the mere option of declaring themselves “not mainly digital”. „The ways in which the two companies communicated and carried out the transfer came under the scrutiny of the Italian Competition Authority.” according to the press release.
According to the Authority, the communication sent to current account holders involved in the transfer appears ambiguous and disseminated in ways inconsistent with the importance of the issue addressed. Consumers complained that the communication was delivered via internet banking or via the Intesa Sanpaolo app without any particular highlighting and at a time of year which largely coincided with the summer holidays. Therefore, current account holders were not fully aware that their account would be transferred to another operator and indeed, often, only became aware of it after the deadline set by Intesa Sanpaolo for current account holders to object to and refuse such a transfer. The same right to object to the transfer does not appear to have been indicated with sufficient clarity.
In addition, the transfer to the new banking operator would entail significant changes to the contractual conditions in place with Intesa Sanpaolo as well as the methods of using the service: physical counters will no longer be available to use (being a completely digital operator, interaction will be done exclusively with a smartphone, not even a browser on a personal computer as was the case with Intesa Sanpaolo); and some features and services (for example, the so-called virtual cards) offered by Intesa Sanpaolo will not be offered by Isybank. According to the Authority, this would lead, at least for some current account holders, to an increase in the costs of keeping their account.
Therefore, the AGCM has told Intesa that it cannot migrate the rest of the 2.4 million customers to Isybank without their express consent, ensuring their right to keep their current account under the same conditions, according to Finextra.
Banking 4.0 – „how was the experience for you”
„So many people are coming here to Bucharest, people that I see and interact on linkedin and now I get the change to meet them in person. It was like being to the Football World Cup but this was the World Cup on linkedin in payments and open banking.”
Many more interesting quotes in the video below: