Cashless payments in the supermarket or restaurant can be very expensive: In an evaluation of 294 account models from 125 credit institutions in Germany, Stiftung Warentest found 55 models in the current “Finanztest”, where each payment is made with the Girocard (EC card ) Fees may apply. “These fees existed before the outbreak of the corona pandemic. However, they were hardly noticed because many people paid in cash, ”says“ Finanztest ”expert Heike Nicodemus.
However, EC fees are not the only costs that customers increasingly face: more and more banks and savings banks are allowing their customers to pay negative interest on their account amounts, reports “Bild”. This is the result of a study by the consumer portal “biallo.de”.
153 banks and savings banks are currently charging negative interest rates from their private customers. For corporate customers and institutional investors, there are even 248 financial institutions. In the study, 1,300 banks and savings banks were scrutinized by the consumer portal.
The number of banks that charge negative interest on a certain amount of money is growing rapidly, according to the results. “Biallo.de” published a study on the subject in July 2019. At that time there were only 30 banks for private customers and 108 for companies that charged negative interest rates. For private customers, the number of financial institutions with negative interest rates has increased fivefold since then.
Sebastian Schick, editor-in-chief of “biallo.de”, is following this development with concern. “We recently saw that not only large banks like Deutsche Bank and their subsidiary Postbank have significantly reduced the allowances, but also many small cooperative banks and savings banks,” said Schick according to “Bild”.
Here you can see an overview of the financial institutions that charge negative interest from their customers:
ATMs are also becoming more expensive
Bank customers have been used to paying for withdrawals at third-party ATMs for years – but now, according to Biallo, more and more banks are also charging their own customers with withdrawal fees.
According to the founder of the portal Horst Biallo, the banks “continued their practice of previous years even in the Corona crisis”. The banks are primarily concerned with compensating for losses through low interest rates.
The price for a branch account rose on average to 4.55 from 4.39 euros per month, while a purely online account rose from 3.63 to 3.83 euros. Almost all banks would now also charge fees for services such as withdrawing money – even from their own bank – and transfers. According to Biallo, an average branch account with which the customer makes 60 transfers a year costs over 70 euros per year. Around 46 euros a year are due for an online account.
“Basically, we have been seeing a trend towards more and increasingly higher fees for services for years,” said Nicodemus of the German Press Agency. “The extra service can be expensive. The banks want customers to do as much as possible themselves. “
Low interest rates and the cost of stricter regulation are putting the finance houses under pressure. If banks park funds at the European Central Bank (ECB), they also have to pay 0.5 percent penalty interest. Even if there are now tax exemptions for certain sums, the industry is complaining of billions. The credit institutions are therefore putting the brakes on costs. The number of branches has been falling for years. According to the Deutsche Bundesbank, their number fell by 1,220 or 4.4 percent to 26,667 branches last year alone.
With material from the dpa