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FAQs

FAQs

1. How do I know if an investment is a deposit?

Before entering into a deposit agreement, the institutions supply you with a standardised information sheet (in the case of simple deposits) or an information leaflet (in the case of indexed or dual deposits), listing the characteristics of the deposit that you wish to contract.

All the characteristics laid down in the standardised information sheet and the information leaflet are also provided in the deposit agreement.

2. How do I know if a deposit is covered by the guarantee provided by the Deposit Guarantee Fund?

The member credit institutions must provide the public, in an easily understandable way, all the pertinent information on the Fund and, in particular, the scope of the guarantee provided, what is excluded and the time frames for repaying the deposits. This information must be provided before entering into a contract on deposit-taking and must be made available in the credit institutions’ branches, in an easily accessible and well identified place, or electronically in the case of home banking.

When a deposit agreement is entered into, the member institutions must give you a depositor information form (DIF), with information on the deposit’s protection and on whether the deposit contracted is eligible for the guarantee provided by the Fund.

The member institutions must also confirm to you that your deposit is covered by the guarantee provided by the Fund through the inclusion of a reference to the DIF in the account statements, and that form must be provided to you at least once a year.

3. Are all deposits held in Portugal covered by the guarantee provided by the Fund?

Not all deposits held in Portugal are covered by the guarantee provided by the Fund.

More specifically, deposits held in Portugal in credit institutions that are members of the Deposit Guarantee Fund, identified in more detail in the next answer, are covered by the Fund’s guarantee.

In exceptional situations, in general related to the nature of the deposit holder, certain deposits may not benefit from any guarantee, as explained in Question 6.

Deposits taken in Portugal under the freedom to provide services or through branches of credit institutions whose head office is in another European Union Member State will be covered by the guarantee provided by the deposit guarantee scheme of that country, which should supply equivalent protection to that of the Deposit Guarantee Fund. However, in the event that the deposits of a credit institution having its head office in another EU Member State and having a branch in Portugal become available, the Fund may, in cooperation with the deposit guarantee scheme of the home country, repay the deposits held in Portugal, acting on behalf of that scheme and in accordance with the instructions given by that scheme.

4. Which credit institutions are members of the Deposit Guarantee Fund?

Deposits held in Portugal in the following entities are covered by the guarantee provided by the Deposit Guarantee Fund:

  1. Credit institutions having their head office in Portugal and authorised to take deposits;

  2. Branches in Portugal of credit institutions having their head office in non-EU Member States, in relation to deposits taken by their branches in Portugal. However, should the Banco de Portugal decide that the deposit guarantee scheme of the home country of that credit institution provides protection under terms equivalent to those of the Deposit Guarantee Fund, namely concerning the scope of coverage and the limit of the guarantee, and without prejudice to any bilateral agreements on the matter, those deposits will instead be guaranteed by the deposit guarantee scheme of the home country.

To find out whether the credit institution where your deposits are held is a member of the Deposit Guarantee Fund, check the list of member institutions.

5. How much is guaranteed by the Deposit Guarantee Fund?

The Deposit Guarantee Fund guarantees the repayment of all your deposits in each credit institution up to the maximum limit of EUR 100,000 per depositor. The maximum limit applies to the aggregated deposits placed with the same credit institution irrespective of the number of deposits.

Example 1 - Depositor owns a single account in a credit institution

DEPOSITOR

AMOUNT DEPOSITED

MAXIMUM GUARANTEE LIMIT

AMOUNT REPAID TO THE DEPOSITOR

A

20 000€

100 000€

20 000€

B

50 000€

100 000€

50 000€

C

150 000€

100 000€

100 000€

 

Example 2 - Depositor owns different accounts in the same credit institution

DEPOSITOR

DEPOSITED AMOUNT

OVERALL AMOUNT PER CUSTOMER

MAXIMUM GUARANTEE LIMIT

AMOUNT REPAID TO THE DEPOSITOR

A

Current account: 15 000€

165 000€

100 000€

100 000€

Time deposits: 100 000€

Housing-saving account: 50 000€

 

Additionally, the following deposits will be fully guaranteed, therefore potentially to beyond the EUR 100,000 limit, for a year from the date after the amount has been credited in the respective deposit account:

  1. Deposits resulting from real estate transactions relating to private residential properties;

  2. Deposits that serve social purposes laid down in a specific statutory law;

  3. Deposits whose amount results from the payment of insurance benefits or compensation for criminal injuries or wrongful conviction.

6. What deposits are excluded from the Deposit Guarantee Fund’s repayment guarantee?

The following are excluded from the Deposit Guarantee Fund’s repayment guarantee, even when they are held in member institutions of the Fund:

  1. Deposits held on behalf and for the account of:

    • Credit institutions,

    • Investment firms,

    • Financial institutions,

    • Insurance and reinsurance undertakings,

    • Collective investment undertakings,

    • Pension funds (apart from deposit accounts of pension funds whose associates are small or medium-sized enterprises),

    • National and foreign administrative public sector entities (apart from deposit accounts of local authorities with an annual budget of EUR 500,000 or less),

    • Supranational or international organisations; 

  2. Deposits arising out of transactions in connection with which there has been a criminal conviction for money laundering;

  3. Deposits the holder of which has never been identified by submitting the items laid down in the laws regulating money laundering and terrorist financing, on the date of the unavailability of deposits; and

  4. Deposits held by persons or entities that have, in the two years before the date on which deposits became unavailable or on which a resolution measure was adopted, a direct or indirect holding which represents at least 2% of the share capital of the credit institution or have been members of the management body of the credit institution, except if proven that they did not cause through their action or failure to act the financial difficulties experienced by the credit institution or helped to aggravate that situation.

7. What guarantee do I have on my deposit in a branch of a credit institution having its head office in another EU country?

If the institution in which you made your deposit is a branch of a credit institution having its head office in another EU country, your deposit is covered by the guarantee scheme of the country where the institution’s head office is located and its limit is EUR 100,000.

These institutions must make available to the public, in an easily understandable manner, all the essential information on guarantee schemes of deposits taken by them, including the identification, provisions, amounts, the scope of cover offered, and the maximum repayment delay. Where deposits are excluded from the guarantee, the institutions must inform the respective depositors of this fact.

If an institution has its head office in a country that, while belonging to the European Union, is not a member of the euro area (Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Hungary, Poland, Romania and Sweden), the bank customer must take into account that the sum may be paid in the currency of the home country.

8. Are there deposits held abroad that benefit from the Deposit Guarantee Fund’s guarantee?

Yes, deposits held in other EU Member States in branches of credit institutions having their head office in Portugal are also covered by the Deposit Guarantee Fund’s guarantee.

However, deposits held in non-EU countries in branches of credit institutions having their head office in Portugal, and deposits held outside Portugal in subsidiaries of Portuguese credit institutions are not covered by the Deposit Guarantee Fund’s guarantee, but by the guarantee scheme of those countries instead.

9. When does the Deposit Guarantee Fund repay depositors?

The Deposit Guarantee Fund will repay depositors when their deposits become unavailable in a member credit institution.

Unavailability of deposits is deemed to exist when:

  1. The member credit institution, for reasons which are directly related to its financial circumstances, has not repaid the deposits due and demandable under the legal and contractual conditions applicable, and the Banco de Portugal has verified, no later than five working days after being informed that the credit institution concerned appears to be unable for the time being to repay the deposits and has no current prospect of being able to do so in the forthcoming days; or

  2. The Banco de Portugal makes public the decision through which it withdraws the authorisation of the member credit institution, if such disclosure is prior to the above situation.

10. How long does it take the Deposit Guarantee Fund to repay the deposits?

The repayment of the guaranteed amounts must take place within the following time frames:

  • A payment of up to EUR 10,000 within a maximum period of seven working days;

  • The remainder up to the EUR 100,000 limit within a maximum period of 10 working days.

With the Fund aiming to optimise and streamline its repayment methods, the maximum time frames for the Fund’s repayment of deposits have been successively reduced. As such, up to 31 December 2020, the maximum time frame was 15 working days and, from then onwards, the applicable time frames will be:

  • 10 working days (from the date on which the deposits became unavailable), from 1 January 2021 to 31 December 2023;

  • 7 working days (from the date on which the deposits became unavailable), from 1 January 2024.

In exceptional circumstances, the Deposit Guarantee Fund may ask the Banco de Portugal to extend the time frame, for a period no longer than 10 working days.

11. How does the Deposit Guarantee Fund repay depositors?

Repayment by the Deposit Guarantee Fund will take place as soon as possible, without the need for the depositors to present any request, and by the most convenient means according to the situation.

An information system specifically designed for these operations, the RED, will be used for repayments.

In practice, should the Deposit Guarantee Fund’s guarantee be activated, an application accessible by internet will be provided to depositors, through which they will be able to consult information on their deposits and interact with the Fund, after respective accreditation, including to indicate a bank account to which they wish the value repayable by the Fund to be transferred.

The Fund is responsible for contacting any depositors who are unable to use the application, based on the information provided by the member credit institution whose deposits have been deemed unavailable, in order to repay the deposits.

The preferred payment instrument for the repayment process is credit transfer (bank transfer), due to its security and auditability. However other payment methods may also be used.

12. Are deposits denominated in foreign currency covered by the Deposit Guarantee Fund’s guarantee too?

Yes. Deposits denominated in foreign currency are also covered by the Deposit Guarantee Fund’s guarantee, and must be converted into euro for the purposes of repayment, at the exchange rate prevailing on the date of the unavailability of deposits.

13. Is interest on the deposits also included in the deposit balances for the purposes of the guarantee?

Yes. Interest on the deposits is included in the deposit balances covered by the Deposit Guarantee Fund’s guarantee and is calculated up to the date on which the deposits became unavailable.

14. If someone is a depositor in more than one Deposit Guarantee Fund member credit institution, does the guarantee limit apply to the overall value of the deposits in the various institutions?

No. The Deposit Guarantee Fund guarantees the repayment of all your deposits in each credit institution up to the maximum limit of EUR 100,000 per depositor. The guarantee is applied per credit institution, due to which, the fact that a depositor may have been repaid by the Deposit Guarantee Fund following a situation of unavailability of deposits in a given institution does not affect any guarantee on his/her deposits held in another institution, where both institutions are members of the Deposit Guarantee Fund.

15. How are the balances on the deposit accounts with more than one deposit holder treated?

In the case of joint accounts, except where otherwise provided for, it will be assumed for the purposes of the repayment that the balances belong in equal parts to the various holders, with each depositor repaid for his/her share up to the EUR 100,000 limit.

However, the deposits in an account to which two or more persons are entitled as members of an association or special committee, without legal personality, are aggregated and treated as if made by a single depositor, repayable up to the EUR 100,000 limit.

Example 1 - Various deposits with shared deposit holders

DEPOSITOR

AMOUNT DEPOSITED

OVERALL AMOUNT PER CUSTOMER

MAXIMUM GUARANTEE LIMIT

AMOUNT REPAID TO THE DEPOSITOR

A

Current account: 60 000€
 

Time deposits: 152 000€

106 000€

100 000€

100 000€

B

106 000€

100 000€

100 000€

 

Example 2 - One deposit with shared deposit holders

DEPOSITOR

AMOUNT DEPOSITED

OVERALL AMOUNT PER CUSTOMER

MAXIMUM GUARANTEE LIMIT

AMOUNT REPAID TO THE DEPOSITOR

A

Time deposits: 250 000€

62 500€

100 000€

62 500€

B

62 500€

100 000€

62 500€

C

62 500€

100 000€

62 500€

D

62 500€

100 000€

62 500€

 

Example 3 - Two deposit holders with only one shared deposit

DEPOSITOR

AMOUNT DEPOSITED

OVERALL AMOUNT PER CUSTOMER

MAXIMUM GUARANTEE LIMIT

AMOUNT REPAID TO THE DEPOSITOR

A

Time deposits: 90 000€

 

Current account: 120 000€

 

150 000€

100 000€

100 000€

B

 

60 000€

100 000€

60 000€

16. Are deposits held in Deposit Guarantee Fund member credit institutions by companies covered by the Fund’s guarantee?

Yes. Deposits held in Deposit Guarantee Fund member credit institutions by companies are covered by the Fund’s guarantee, so long as none of the causes for exclusion from the guarantee are found to exist.

As the Fund’s guarantee limit applies to each depositor, in the case of a deposit held by a legal person, the entity is considered as a single depositor, with the EUR 100,000 limit applying to all the deposit accounts held in the same member credit institution of the Fund.

The following are excluded from the Deposit Guarantee Fund’s reimbursement guarantee, even if they are established in member institutions of the Fund:

  1. Deposits held on behalf and for the account of: 

    • Credit institutions,

    • Investment firms,

    • Financial institutions,

    • Insurance and reinsurance undertakings,

    • Collective investment undertakings,

    • Pension funds (apart from deposit accounts of pension funds whose associates are small or medium-sized enterprises),

    • National and foreign administrative public sector entities (apart from deposit accounts of local authorities with an annual budget of EUR 500,000 or less),

    • Supranational or international organisations; 

  2. Deposits arising out of transactions in connection with which there has been a criminal conviction for money laundering; 

  3. Deposits the holder of which has never been identified by submitting the items laid down in the laws regulating money laundering and terrorist financing, on the date of the unavailability of deposits; 

  4. Deposits held by persons or entities that have, in the two years before the date on which deposits became unavailable or on which a resolution measure was adopted, a direct or indirect holding which represents at least 2% of the share capital of the credit institution or have been members of the management body of the credit institution, except if proven that they did not cause through their action or failure to act the financial difficulties experienced by the credit institution or helped to aggravate that situation.

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