Sparkasse Köln-Bonn stops increasing fees

The first claims from customers against their banks end up before the arbitration board of the banking association. The background to this is a supreme court ruling on the controversial practice of announcing fee increases for checking accounts.

Current accounts and savings: hardly any interest, but rising fees

Dhe Sparkasse Köln-Bonn stops its controversial increase in fees for the current account. As a spokesman for the institute said, the Sparkasse is reacting to the latest ruling by the Federal Court of Justice (BGH). The court had declared the practice of many banks to be inadmissible to notify customers of even far-reaching changes to their general terms and conditions by letter or email and then to interpret silence as consent.

The reasons for the judgment are still pending. “Sparkasse Köln-Bonn decided to suspend the changes to current accounts announced in April of this year as a precaution until the reasons for the judgment are available and have been evaluated,” said the institute.

The direct bank Comdirect dealt with its fee increase on May 1st, which had also caused quite a stir beforehand. PSD Bank Nord in Hamburg also stopped increasing its fees for the time being after the ruling. ING Germany, on the other hand, had carried out its changes.

Commerzbank has announced that it will enforce its fee increase despite everything – but want to get an “active yes” from customers. The institute obviously wants to do without the instrument of tacit consent and accepts the corresponding bureaucratic effort. Some banks had argued after the BGH ruling that in practice this would not be possible in the long term because it would mean too much effort.

Meanwhile, the number of cases in which bank customers in response to the judgment demand money back from their bank because of previous increases in fees is increasing. A small survey of banks showed that most of these claims have now been made. Hamburger Volksbank has now reported that it has now received around 40 such money-back claims. “Of course we answer immediately,” said a spokeswoman. You will wait for the reasons for the judgment and then contact each individual customer without being asked.

In this dispute over reclaims due to earlier fee increases relating to the current account, bank customers have now also called the arbitration board of the Federal Association of German Banks. “We have received a handful of complaints on this subject,” confirmed a spokeswoman for the banking association.

Meanwhile, another bank of Stadtsparkasse Düsseldorf is continuing on its path of rigorously introducing negative interest rates. Sparda-Bank West had set customers with large deposits from April 1 a four-week period. They should reallocate their money or agree to a custody fee. Some have signed, others are still in discussion, said a spokeswoman on Friday. “If no contact and no agreement with the customer is possible, the termination will be pronounced.” This will lapse if the customer should accept the new contractual conditions by the end of the notice period, the spokeswoman said: “If this is not the case, we will be two weeks after the notice period has expired, apply for the credit to be deposited with the local court. “