Negative interest rates: Stadtsparkasse Düsseldorf takes even tougher action

The allowance for new customers will be reduced to 50,000 euros. Another 1,700 existing customers are to shift their money or pay negative interest. Six accounts are handed over to the district court.

Stadtsparkasse Düsseldorf is taking on a pioneering role when it comes to negative interest rates.

Dhe Stadtsparkasse Düsseldorf, which caused a sensation with a very consistent approach to the introduction of negative interest rates, continues. As a savings bank spokesman for the FAZ said on Friday, the allowance for negative interest rates for new customers will be reduced from 100,000 to 50,000 euros. Commerzbank had announced a similar step.

Since Friday, the Düsseldorfer Sparkasse has also been writing to existing customers who have more than 130,000 euros on their current and overnight accounts. You should either shift the money, use offers from other banks or pay a custody fee. A number of different options are offered, including investments in securities or insurance products.

If customers do not contact, they face the risk of termination of the account and the transfer of the money to the local court. The deadline for a reply is June 15th. “Not only you, but also the banks and savings banks are suffering from this interest rate policy, the end of which is not yet in sight,” says the letter to the customers that the FAZ is available.

Accounts with 330 million euros affected

Around 1700 Sparkasse customers are said to be affected by this new round of letters of 130,000 euros. They come together on deposits with the Stadtsparkasse of 330 million euros in daily money.

The Sparkasse had previously written to around 1,800 customers with deposits of more than EUR 250,000. Most of them had gradually agreed to reallocate their money or sign a contract for a custody fee. Pressure was put on in several rounds. The savings bank announced on Friday that they had currently blocked six accounts and that they should be handed over to the district court. The account holders did not respond to the letters.

In total, Stadtsparkasse Düsseldorf now has around 4,000 existing customers who are to be persuaded to reschedule or pay a custody fee because they had too much money in their accounts.

The Sparkasse is not the only one that does this. But so far it is noticeable for its particular consistency. Commerzbank, for example, has so far left something in the fog as to whether, in extreme cases, it will actually cancel the accounts of good existing customers if they are not willing to pay negative interest. Sparda Bank West wants to proceed in a similar way to Stadtsparkasse Düsseldorf, but the deadline by which you had to report is only now running out. In addition, the number of affected customers is lower there.

Why is the Stadtsparkasse Düsseldorf taking on a pioneering role in this area? The institute is headed by the ambitious manager Karin-Brigitte Göbel, whose contract has just been extended. The manager had already attracted attention as a member of the board of the Taunus-Sparkasse in the vicinity of the Frankfurt financial center because she had consistently restructured the corporate loan business. Now it is apparently taking on the role of the German banking industry to enforce negative interest rates for private customers the hard way. Other institutes in Germany also use their path as a potential threat to customers if they do not notice the introduction of negative interest rates.

The Stuttgart banking professor Hans-Peter Burghof also speculated that in Düsseldorf the city often had higher expectations of the profitability and payouts of the Sparkasse than in other cities. This is one of the reasons why Stadtsparkasse Düsseldorf may have taken on this role in negative interest rates.