Out of the interest rate trap: New service packages upset home loan customers

The need is great in terms of the interest slump – even with building societies. Given the income melt, they turn on the feed screw. Some institutes are carrying an annual service fee for existing contracts. Consumer advocates are angry and afraid that the example of school could make. “It’s as if a savings bank entry of customer demands for it because it maintains the building,” criticizes financial expert Hartmut Schwarz from the Consumer Bremen.
Mail from their building society currently gets, among other customers of Debeka, Signal Iduna, and LBS Bayerische Landesbausparkasse. Debeka wants for old contracts from the stock, are no longer actively sold, collect an annual fee during the savings phase of 12 or 24 euros. A Debeka spokesman explained the decision with the consequences of interest rate slowdown and the high cost of regulatory requirements. Annual fees are not uncommon in the industry, “with us they have been the exception,” the spokesman said.

In fact, for example, requires Bausparkasse Wüstenrot an annual account fee of 15 euros at their current tariff generation. Bausparkasse Schwäbisch Hall rises an annual fee of 12 euros. Even the Federal Finance Agency has set the safe custody of federal titles a few years ago, says a Swabian-Hall spokesman. “Behind this is indeed no small effort that not even the federal government can offer for free.”

The Signal Iduna Bausparkasse led the year a service fee for all customers and rates of uniformly 15 euros per year per account. The reasons are the low-interest rates and rising costs. Before there were different fee models. With the package were all fees incurred during the savings and loan phase one savings agreement, settled, the company advertises.

In contradiction, the fee is waived

At LBS Bayern it costs 9.60 euros per annum. However, the owners of older policies to checkout, which previously did not pay fees to ask the Bayern now. Consumer advocates Black fears that other building societies could follow suit.

Since Debeka and Co. changed the terms and conditions during the current contract, savings customers can object to the fee. Black recommends immediately “to disagree after receiving the information in writing, this service fee will be waived.”

The building societies stuck like other credit institutions in the low-interest rate case. Especially high-interest old contracts they burden. Despite the allocation of maturity, many customers do not take to complete their loan to as long as possible to benefit from the credit interest of the 90s. “The building societies have to create savings that they do not forgive the loans, according to the requirements of the Building Society Act in low-risk securities that hardly provide returns due to the policy of the European Central Bank,” a spokesman for the LBS Bayern describes the problem.

Account management is not the main power

Therefore, many banks announce high-interest old contracts that can be converted into loans for at least ten years and are not yet fully best part. This practice is legally controversial. End of February, the topic on the agenda of the Federal Court. In November, the Supreme Court has overturned the loan fee, which arose when Bausparer took the loan.

Consumer service fees or termination of high-yielding old contracts are annoying. The head of the Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin), Felix Hufeld, however, warns, banks would have to reduce because of diminishing returns costs, develop other sources of income or question their business model.

Among lawyers, there are concerns, however. In contrast to the checking account along with debit card is the account management in the savings agreement is not the main performance, says law professor Christina Escher-Weingart from the University of Hohenheim and refers to the previous case. “The main achievement in the savings agreement is that the financial institution at a later date allows a subsidized loan -. And not the customer relationship in itself”
An account fee is only legally versed when it was said main power says, which specializes in banking law lawyer. “The fact that the building societies rely on account fees, as they would say,” we are working for you, dear customer, so give us time money. “- which is not allowed”