Sparkasse is now charging me 12 euros a month!

#1
In the UK the topic of bank charge refunds is still mentioned frequently. It's illegal for a bank to charge you huge amounts for sending you a letter to tell you you're in the red.

German banks have been charging us about 10 euros a month for a while due to t%%ts leaving the country with an unpaid overdraft. This month I notice sparkasse has upped the bill to 12 euros without so much as a letter!

Now I know certain bank accounts cost money, it's the norm in some countries, but is it legal for them to charge me that? Any ALC peeps out there maybe shed some light?
 
#2
staz1000 said:
German banks have been charging us about 10 euros a month for a while due to t%%ts leaving the country with an unpaid overdraft. This month I notice sparkasse has upped the bill to 12 euros without so much as a letter!
That's not actually the case - it's a normal admin charge across most banks in the rest of the world - the UK is an oddity in having admin charge-free current accounts.

As for them upping the fee without a notice, I don't know what the Bundesbank rules are pertaining to retail banking, but you might find that they had notices up in the branches and weren't required to send individual letters.
 
#3
staz1000 said:
In the UK the topic of bank charge refunds is still mentioned frequently. It's illegal for a bank to charge you huge amounts for sending you a letter to tell you you're in the red.

German banks have been charging us about 10 euros a month for a while due to t%%ts leaving the country with an unpaid overdraft. This month I notice sparkasse has upped the bill to 12 euros without so much as a letter!

Now I know certain bank accounts cost money, it's the norm in some countries, but is it legal for them to charge me that? Any ALC peeps out there maybe shed some light?
That's the downside of the Euro! What was the spiel a few years ago? Something along the lines of "the Euro will drive down costs because it will make charges transparent...".

I recall that, when I left Germany in 1989 (without leaving any debts behind...), the Sparkasse charged so much per cheque and statement.

You will have been given a list of their charges when you signed up. Find a German speaker and ask them to tell you what the charges are. Or ask at your branch; I bet you will find an English speaker who is willing to explain.

The mood music from the UK banks is that all current accounts will soon charge a monthly amount for access to our money.

Litotes
 
#4
DozyBint said:
That's not actually the case
I'm pretty sure it is. I opened my account a long time ago but I remember being told it at the time when I opened my account. I think my girlfriend has an account with sparky so I'll confirm what she pays, or get her to ask in the branch what she would pay. She may well have to pay something yes but not that much. I was talking to her about it the other night and she was shocked that I was paying so much.

DozyBint said:
you might find that they had notices up in the branches and weren't required to send individual letters.
Again I'm not sure what the law is over here but I know in the UK that wouldn't wash would it? Most people don't go into their branch very often, especially with free withdrawals in most places and online banking. There'd be a huge stink kicked up.
 
#5
From my local Sparky webpage

GIRO classic
Grundpreis 6,50 Euro pro Monat

Aktuelle Konditionen am 14.08.2007 um 17:19 Uhr
Leistung Preis
Preise für Buchungen
Alle Buchungen frei außer
beleggebundenen Zahlungen:
- Überweisung
- Scheckeinreichung


0,75 Euro
0,50 Euro
Konto-Auszüge:
Konto-Auszugs-Drucker
Portoauslagen Konto-Auszüge
monatlich (je Auszug)
wöchentlich (je Auszug)
täglich (je Auszug)
Brief-Schließfach (je Auszug)
monatlich (je Auszug)
Elektronisch (Online-Banking):
4 Anfragen pro Monat frei
ab der 5. Anfrage

inkl.
Porto DPAG
0,50 Euro
0,50 Euro
0,50 Euro
0,50 Euro


je 0,10 Euro
Konto-Karten
SparkassenCard mit Geheimzahl
MasterCard/Visa Karte
MasterCard gold

inkl.
1 Karte inkl.
45,- Euro pro Jahr
Zusatz-Karten
MasterCard/Visa Karte
MasterCard gold

12,- Euro pro Jahr
30,- Euro pro Jahr
Online-Paket
Online-Banking per PIN und iTAN
HBCI-Karte

inkl.
10,- Euro





Ein kostenloser Service Ihrer Sparkasse Krefeld. Alle Angaben ohne Gewähr.
Ihre Sparkasse Krefeld

Ausdruck starten
Fenster schliessen
If you don't do the lingo, it is a basic charge of 6,50 a month PLUS any of the others you use.

You would have to do a hell of a lot of transfers to get to 12 euros a month.
 
#6
For my account with the Sparkasse SuedWestPfalz I pay a whole 9 Euros per Quarter = 36 Euros per year. The greater part of my transactions are done by computer banking, and money comes into the account from the translation agencies I work for in Spain, Belgium, Switzerland, Denmark, Austria etc plus the pension people in GB, and goes back out of the account to places all over Europe (for eBay purchases and suchlike).

The only time I`ve had to pay anything extra to the bank was last year when I shifted about 900 Dollars to Dallas, Texas to pay for a trumpet bought on eBay. That cost a flat 15 Euro. PayPal wanted 4% from the seller = 36$/28Euro - the seller knocked the saving off the purchase price.

For Litotes - I don`t know of any downsides to the Euro, apart from scare propaganda. Having spent several years on the road as a coach tour driver it is most definitely a better alternative than a bag full of different currencies - especially when it costs money to change currencies!
 
#7
Thanks for the info Steven and A_Brace_of_Buns (lol).

I asked my misus, she only pays 50 cents as she's a student and she thought maybe a main acount costs 4 euro but 6,50 it is then.

Now for the next part, is it legal??
 
#8
Yes its legal - its a service charge not a penalty charge like those currently contested in the UK. Wh ydon't you go to your local Sparky and ask why you r appear to be charged more than the 6.50 basic fee? You may get a straight answer instead of a lot of well meaning conjecture (so far no p!ss taking though!).
 
#10
Horridlittleman said:
Yes its legal - its a service charge not a penalty charge like those currently contested in the UK.
Yes I know it's different to the UK charges but it is not a service charge as a whole. Yes 6,50 of it maybe but the rest is to cover their cost of squaddies leaving Germany with overdrafts. This does not count as a service charge so it will not come under that same bracket.
 
#11
German banks work differently to the banks in the UK, all in all banks work differently from country to country.

As Dozybint noted the Bundesbank regulates German banking and Germany has a law for certain areas financial and administrative that clearly states, that changes if affecting a broad spectrum of, lets say, customers do not need to be informed by personal letter but an 'Aushang' in Branches and perhaps a local newspaper would suffice. Yep, as you don't speak German that can be a toughy - but they thonk 'he is in our country......'.

The charges seem to be decent yet I would NOT bank with the Sparkasse (Landessparkasse or kreissparkasse) they do not hold the best reputation.

You will receive better service at Commerzbank, Dresdner Bank or the Volks und Raiffeisenbanken. They also have lesser charges apart from were the charges are state regulated.

This is due to 'seniority' of banks.

Bundesbank, deutsche bank, sparkasse etc... (They are part of the structure and sparkasse used to employ civil servants....!!).
 
#12
staz1000 said:
Horridlittleman said:
Yes its legal - its a service charge not a penalty charge like those currently contested in the UK.
Yes I know it's different to the UK charges but it is not a service charge as a whole. Yes 6,50 of it maybe but the rest is to cover their cost of squaddies leaving Germany with overdrafts. This does not count as a service charge so it will not come under that same bracket.
How do you know what the difference in charge is?

Why don't you speak to the bank to get confirmation?
 
#13
Horridlittleman said:
staz1000 said:
Horridlittleman said:
Yes its legal - its a service charge not a penalty charge like those currently contested in the UK.
Yes I know it's different to the UK charges but it is not a service charge as a whole. Yes 6,50 of it maybe but the rest is to cover their cost of squaddies leaving Germany with overdrafts. This does not count as a service charge so it will not come under that same bracket.
How do you know what the difference in charge is?

Why don't you speak to the bank to get confirmation?
Because Steven has already found out that an account costs 6,50 a month. And I don't have any special account with other benefits. I will speak to the bank to confirm this though when I'm next there.
 
#14
I know that the basic account is shown as 6.50 but there is nothing to say "ve shall penalise all soldiers for ze others who hav run avay without paying us back! Ja!"

I certainly never got charged 12 euros a month when i was with sparkasse.
 
#15
I was told it when I opened my account by our admin office. We all came over on an arms plot and hadn't heard of banking charges before so they explained it to us.
 
#17
I stopped banking with Sparkasse in April this year and only paid the admin fee - I didn't pay the 6.50 and I know my bank fee was the same as civi's (same as my mate who was a german wife) so squaddies are not paying for other squaddies leaving Germany - I think your admin office may be telling fibs.

Sparkasse in Paderborn has one designated English speaking branch (its the one behind Barker Bks) so I would imagine there to be English branches in all the other garrisons, so go in and ask what your charges are - at least you'll clear this up if you get the info straight from the bank
 

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