BGH ruling on bank fees
Savings banks and banks that do not offer free checking accounts are usually very creative when it comes to getting paid by their customers. There are gladly once fees computed for things, which actually in the ureigensten interest of the bank lies. So u.a. Also for deposits and withdrawals of cash at the bank counter.
Deposits and withdrawals are the rudimentary tasks of a bank or savings bank. Without the money of their customers a bank could not operate their business at all. And somehow the money of the customers must come yes on the account. That goes by on-line transfer, in addition, naturally by cash deposit. To charge fees for this already borders on audacity. Nevertheless, some financial institutions “require a fee per booking”.
Also a Raiffeisenbank from Bavaria demanded such fees and that called the protective association for bank customers on the plan. The sued the Raiffeisenbank, because it was in their AGB quite generally: “Price per booking item € 0,35”.
This wording was too general for the Federal Court of Justice (BGH). “A clause that generally charges a fee per booking is invalid”, said a BGH spokeswoman. Because in such a way the bank could require also fees for erroneous entries, which has to answer for itself. And under no circumstances are financial institutions allowed to do this, according to the ruling of the BGH (Ref.: XI ZR 174/13).
This does not generally prohibit bank fees, but the GTC must precisely list the fees to be paid by customers. General formulations, like those of the Raiffeisenbank from Bavaria, are not legal. This will of course have an effect on the entire industry. Faulty AGB must be adapted now at short notice.
Bank customers can now reclaim booking fees from their bank if they were charged on the basis of such a blanket clause. However, any statute of limitations must be observed in this case.
However, the actual question of the legality of fees for deposits and withdrawals was not at issue in the ruling. Surprisingly, the BGH did not comment on this at all. The Schutzgemeinschaft für Bankkunden will therefore continue to try to have this matter clarified in court.
Use free current accounts
Bank customers who no longer want to be ripped off unnecessarily by their bank should switch as soon as possible to a bank that offers a free checking account. Mostly, such accounts also include the ec/giro card and a credit card free of charge in the package. Particularly for journeys an important point.
Fees for self-evident things, such as cash supply or transfers, are then a thing of the past. The more customers make the change, the sooner such banks and savings banks will wake up, which still try to fleece their customers.