Negative interest rates for wealthier customers have been a recurring topic among German savers for months. Last year, for example, the Stadtsparkasse Düsseldorf began to close the accounts of the first customers if they did not want to accept negative interest rates. As the Tagesschau are now reporting, Dortmund’s counterpart have apparently dismissed 15 clients due to custody fees.
According to reports, Postbank also acted in the same way in recent weeks and dismissed customers with a balance of more than 50,000 euros who did not agree with the negative interest rates. A spokesperson, however, pointed out here at the Tagesschau that there were only a few isolated cases – they did not want to give an exact figure.
The DKB is also considering “customers who have not given their consent even after repeated reminders” to terminate the account. Competitors like Berliner Sparkasse or Commerzbank, on the other hand, want to wait and see and find amicable solutions for their customers.
Reading tip: How to save up to 250 euros on household energy expenses
Sparkasse, Postbank et Cie: More and more banks with negative interest rates
As the Tagesschau writes, 449 out of 1,300 German financial institutions now demand custody fees above a certain balance – and the trend is rising. However, many banks have also announced that negative interest rates may be removed in the future if the ECB removes penalty interest rates for institutes. “If the ECB interest rate reaches zero, the custody fee is automatically waived,” says consumer lawyer Niels Nauhauser.
However, small savers could also face a lot more account closures in the future: in many banks, only 70% of customers apparently accepted the new terms and conditions only with negative interest rates. If an approval rate of 85-90% is achieved, terminations could follow for smaller assets, predicts Oliver Mihm, head of banking consultancy Investors Marketing.