“Stop automatic switching of customers from Intesa Sanpaolo to Isybank”

There is no automatic transfer from Intesa Sanpaolo to Isybank; customers will choose whether to keep the old account or move to the group’s new all-digital reality. The Competition and Markets Authority is intervening by imposing an automatic transmission suspension to protect the 2.4 million customers involved in the operation. In this way, account holders will be able to choose what to do.

Thus, a new chapter is being written in the story that started in the summer. Millions of Intesa account holders have been notified of a unilateral change in their contracts. In practice, Intesa Sanpaolo decided to move a block of customers, which they defined as “digital”, to Isybank, the digital bank of the Intesa Sanpaolo group. The change is not insignificant because İşbank does not have physical branches to which it can apply. Customers were given the opportunity to declare themselves “predominantly non-digital” and request to remain under the old terms. Many noticed the bank’s communication late and got “stuck”. This is the reason for the protests and the Antitrust intervention. According to the guarantor authority, the communication sent was “vague and disseminated in ways that did not appear to be consistent with the importance of the matter addressed”. However, according to Intesa, the “accusatory” communications occurred using methods originally chosen by customers.

The Institution has now taken an injunction to prevent account holders who do not give their explicit consent from switching to a digital bank. The key to everything lies precisely in these last two words. According to the agreement established in the summer, İntesa “sold” a certain number of its customers to İsybank and it was up to the customers to say “No”. Silence counted as consent. According to Antitrust, the process now needs to be reversed: “explicit consent” is required.

This operation currently concerns approximately 300 thousand of the total 2.4 million customers that Intesa Sanpaolo plans to transfer to Isybank. There were more than 5,000 consumers (more than 3,000 of whom after the investigation began) who requested the agency’s intervention.

“For the institution – we read in the note – the transfer was envisaged in violation of the provisions of the Consumer Law. In fact, as a result of the transfer, the relevant account holders would no longer be able to access the accounts. They were doing branch or internet banking via personal computers and had to carry out their banking transactions only through the Application. In addition, new current accounts are different economic conditions and the loss of previously available services (for example: virtual cards to secure online purchases, bank cheques, access to mortgage agreements).These significant changes previously envisaged in contracts can only be made without the prior consent of customers regarding the request for transfer. was implemented in a biased manner”. Furthermore, “Communications regarding the switch to Isybank were delivered to customers in the archive section of the Intesa Sanpaolo App without adopting measures to encourage their reading (for example, push notifications and pop-ups), and in this case no suggestion was made to this effect. It was not possible for customers to oppose the switch. Finally , the communications regarding the economic conditions envisaged by the new current account and the services no longer included were not sufficiently specified”.

Therefore, the Authority ensured that the two banks gave the account holders an appropriate period of time to provide their explicit consent to the transfer, “subject to clear and comprehensive information regarding the features of the new İşbank account.” Thus, those who declared against them will have the right to maintain their previous current accounts under the same conditions.

Intesa Sanpaolo and Isybank have ten days to submit to the Authority the measures adopted to comply with the injunction.

Intesa Sanpaolo’s response

“All authorities must be respected. It is clear that we believe that we act in accordance with the laws of this country and that we have authority from the Bank of Italy and the European Central Bank.” Thus, Carlo Messina became the CEO of Intesa Sanpaolo. “But he adds: If even a limited number of customers (we are talking about 2,000) do not consider our procedures to be the best procedures to use, we will make it happen.”

Continue reading on Today.it…

Source: Today IT