Finance Act 2013

Amendment of section 123B (cash, combined and debit cards) of Principal Act.

82.— Section 123B of the Principal Act is amended—

(a) in subsection (1) by substituting the following for the definition of “account holder”:

“ ‘account holder’, in relation to a basic payment account, means the person in whose name the account is held;”,

(b) in subsection (1) by substituting the following for the definition of “basic payment account”:

“ ‘basic payment account’ means a card account—

(a) which is issued only to an account holder who in the period of financial exclusion—

(i) did not hold a card account, or

(ii) held a card account but no account holder-initiated transactions occurred on that account in the period of financial exclusion,

(b) where, in respect of every 2 consecutive quarters, all amounts paid into the card account, other than amounts paid to the account holder by electronic funds transfer under the Social Welfare Acts, do not exceed €4,500 (in this section referred to as the ‘threshold amount’) in each quarter, and

(c) which is a standard bank account with one of the following banks:

(i) Allied Irish Banks plc;

(ii) the Governor and Company of the Bank of Ireland;

(iii) permanent tsb plc;”,

(c) in subsection (1) by inserting the following definitions:

“ ‘period of financial exclusion’ means the period of 3 years immediately preceding the date of an application to open a basic payment account;

‘quarter’ means a period of 3 consecutive months or any commensurate period by reference to which a promoter in the course of its business calculates all amounts paid into a card account;”,

(d) by inserting the following after subsection (1):

“(1B) Where the promoter has served notice of the termination of the basic payment account, the account shall not cease to be a basic payment account until the expiry of 2 months from the date of service of the notice.”,

(e) in subsection 3(c) by deleting “in relation to the year 2012,”, and

(f) by inserting the following after subsection (10):

“(11) The Minister, following a review of this section, for the purposes of ensuring that the conditions governing the opening of a basic payment account are such that the section achieves its intended purpose may by order vary—

(a) the duration of the period of financial exclusion, and

(b) the threshold amount, subject to a maximum variation of 20 per cent.

(12) Every order made by the Minister under subsection (11) shall be laid before Dáil Éireann as soon as may be after it is made and, if a resolution annulling the order is passed by Dáil Éireann within the next 21 days on which Dáil Éireann has sat after the order is laid before it, the order shall be annulled accordingly, but without prejudice to the validity of anything previously done under the order.”.