More Green Countries Equo, in the Plural Parliamentary Group, presented this Monday a non-law proposal for the Congress of Deputies to debate in full whether urges the government to incorporate a battery of measures to fight against the financial exclusion of the elderly.
Among them ask for the Elimination of commissions for operations carried out at the teller window, while suggesting that the withdrawal of cash is considered a “basic and universal service”, which guarantees face-to-face attention.
The proposal, signed by the group’s spokesman Íñigo Errejón, seeks for the Executive to incorporate these initiatives into the Bill on Customer Service Services, in addition to proposing to establish a minimum periodicity for ofibuses or mobile offices who visit different locations. But the text goes beyond demands to banks and also seeks to guarantee face-to-face access to the Public Administration for those who suffer from the digital divide.
Más País Verdes Equo recalls that last November the Government approved the preliminary bill for Customer Service Services, drawn up jointly by the Ministry of Consumer Affairs and the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Digital Transformation with the aim of improving communications between consumers and companies. With respect to banking or financial entities, the draft includes the obligation to offer a personalized telephone communication and requires guaranteeing accessibility to care services for “vulnerable consumers”, including the elderly.
However, it makes More Country Greens Equo ugly, it does not address at any time the problem of face-to-face attention in bank branches which, in his opinion, has been deepening in recent years due to the significant reduction in branches and ATMs.
According to data from the Bank of Spain, up to 22,392 bank branches closed their doors between 2008 and 2020 and this, according to the non-law proposal, has left “thousands of people without banking service, especially the older population and the inhabitants of rural areas, who are at risk of financial exclusion.”
But the exclusion of part of the citizenry due to the digital divide regarding access to basic services is not only found in financial exclusion, he laments. “Even more serious, since it is a direct responsibility and management of the State, is the difficulty of accessing the Social Security Administration to carry out all kinds of basic procedures.
In this regard, he adds, the Social Security Administration, like other institutions, is in full acceleration towards the digital processing of many cases, which is assuming, if not done properly, a deterioration in customer service, “particularly” in the entities of the National Institute of Social Security and the General Treasury of Social Security.