PS12660 - Italian Competition Authority: following Agcm intervention, Intesa Sanpaolo and Isybank overcome criticalities in the transfer of current accounts


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The changeover from Intesa SP to the digital bank concerned about 2.5 million customers who, however, had not received clear and complete information

The Italian Competition Authority has closed its investigation against Intesa Sanpaolo S.p.A. and Isybank S.p.A., the Intesa Sanpaolo Group's digital bank, accepting the commitments proposed by the two companies as they allow to remove the possible elements of unfairness identified. The Authority had initiated proceedings for alleged unfair commercial practices concerning the way in which the two operators were reorganising the Group by transferring more than 2 million customers - defined as 'mainly digital' - from Intesa Sanpaolo to Isybank. The handover was planned in two tranches: the first, Branch I, on 16 October 2023, covered about three hundred thousand customers; the second, Branch II, included over two million customers whose transfer was to take place on 18 March 2024.

Account holders had seen their current accounts unilaterally closed with Intesa Sanpaolo and a new relationship activated with Isybank, but without some of the services they had previously used, without full and easily accessible information and without providing their express consent.

The commitments guarantee all customers clear and comprehensive information on the nature and conditions of the transfer, provided from 10 January to 29 February 2024 through individual communications accessed via a banner from the Isybank app (Branch I) or from the Intesa Sanpaolo app and website (Branch II).

In addition, the companies made three attempts to contact customers who did not respond to the previous communications and launched another communication campaign via e-mail and push, in the weeks of 22 January and 12 February 2024 and after on 29 February 2024.

This initiative aimed to inform Branch I customers that they will have the possibility, by 31 December 2026, to return to Intesa Sanpaolo, enjoying improved economic conditions compared to those applied before the transfer: a current account with the same or lower fees, fee-free debit cards, zero-cost terms on transactional services and a possible fee-free deposit of securities. Customers who request it are also guaranteed the re-allocation of their original Iban.

By way of compensation, all Branch I customers will also be granted a free relationship with Isybank, from the date of transfer to 30 June 2024 or the date of any termination of the relationship, whichever is earlier.

With regard to Branch II customers, the measures proposed for disclosure and implementation were similar to those for Branch I customers. The communication to Branch II customers served to inform them of the commitment made by the two banks to transfer to Isybank only those customers who had explicitly given their 'express consent' to the account transfer and related contractual changes.

Rome, 12 June 2024