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Ownership: Consumer Guards Request Cover of Base Account Fees

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Frankfurt am Main. Everyone has been entitled to an account in Germany for five years. But the so-called base account is often expensive. Does the wave of price increases in banks now completely unaffordable?

 Eine Bankkundin steckt ihre Girokarte in einen Geldautomaten. Der Trend zu Gebührenerhöhungen in der Bankenbranche gefährdet nach Ansicht von Verbraucherschützern das „Konto für Jedermann“. © Fabian Sommer A bank kundin puts your current card in an ATM. The trend towards charges in the banking industry, according to consumer protectors, endanger the "account for everyone".

The trend towards charges in the banking industry, according to consumer protectors, endanger the "account for everyone". For five years now, every citizen has a right to a so-called base account. "The success of the basic account is on the game," warns Julian Merzbacher from the citizen movement financing. "Access to an account may not be a matter of purse, because it is essential. Other European states where fees are leased at a low level make it differently. "

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salary payment, online purchasing, electricity bill - no giro account is hardly anything. But in the past, for example, people without a permanent residence or refugees had often difficult to open an account. With the implementation of an EU Directive from 2014, the legal situation in Germany changed five years ago: Since June 19, 2016, every citizen is entitled to a checking account.

Prerequisite for the establishment of a basic account is that one is legal in the European Union. The account holder receives a bank card and may transfer money. Rejecting a Bank may only make the application for the opening of a basic account in rare cases, for example if a customer already uses an account with another bank in Germany.

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According to recent figures of financial supervision BaFin, nearly 761,500 basis accounts have been opened since the regulations until 30 June 2020 in Germany. However, many institutes can be paid "anyone accounts" expensive. According to a study of the Stiftung Warentest from last December, the span reaches from 12 euros to 250 euros per year.

banks and savings banks justify the relatively high price mostly with additional expenses for advice and opening compared to the conventional checking account. However, the Federal Court of Justice (BGH) has also advanced a tie last June: a monthly basic price of 8.99 euros as well as 1.50 euros for a documented transfer within the framework of a basic account are too high and thus ineffective, judged the Karlsruher Richter (Az.: XI ZR 119/19). Since then, the defendant Deutsche Bank has to offer its basic account cheaper.

"All banks with payment accounts for consumers offer a base account in Germany," affirmed the five major banking associations associated with the German Credit Management (DK) on request. Rejected would rarely. "For the pricing of basic accounts, the statutory appropriateness applies," said the DK. Financial Supervision BaFin has recently certified the banking industry in October 2020 that they fulfill their obligations well with regard to basic accounts.

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