Problems in opening bank accounts to asylum seekers

Given the difficulties asylum seekers face to open bank accounts, Solidarity Now’s General Manager, Epaminondas Farmakis, in a letter to the Ministries of Finance, Economy and Migration Policy on 8/12/2016, asked for their intervention in order for Greek banks to comply with the principle of legality and ensure the unhindered allocation of bank accounts to all people who meet the legal requirements in the country.

SolidarityNow  has welcomed the legislation on asylum seekers’ access to the labor market, a development for which we fought together with other organizations. In this context, we actively support the access of our beneficiaries in employment either in our own programs or in the wider labor market.

However, our financial services have recently faced the denial of certain banks to open a bank account for asylum seekers although they have all the necessary documents, under the pretext that the asylum seeker card has an expiry date. We note that banks do not have the right to deprive asylum seekers of the rights they have under the national and European legislation.

SolidarityNow sent out a letter to the competent authorities and requests to provide guidance in order the problem to be solved.