Bafin presents the project: More information for consumers when it comes to current account costs

bCustomers wishing to obtain more detailed information about current account costs will in future be able to obtain information free of charge on the website of financial regulator Bafin. For example, account management fees, the amount of overdraft interest or credit card costs of more than 1,400 banks and savings banks in Germany must be listed, as seen in the draft so-called Bafin reporting rule on the comparison website. . Establishments must first report relevant information to the supervisory authority in September 2024.

“We are pleased that things are finally moving forward,” said Dorothea Mohn of the Federal Association of Consumer Organizations (vzbv). The banking industry and associations have until mid-December to comment on the Bafina project. The model initially chosen in Germany to implement the European Payment Accounts Directive has generated controversy in the past.

Comparison portal Check24 initially operated the non-profit website but pulled the plug after just five months in April 2021 due to unclear legal terms. Consumer advocates have complained about the comparison site’s lack of market coverage. Check24 saw it differently.

Stiftung Warenstest demands money

Stiftung Warentest has temporarily made a free comparison of the currently existing 468 current accounts of more than 170 credit institutions available on the Internet at Offer ends at the end of the year. “According to the agreement, from January 2024 we will again make our offer paid – like all other ongoing tests on,” said a spokeswoman for Stiftung Warentest.

It is particularly important for consumer advocate Mon that so-called basic accounts are specifically marked on the future comparison website and can be filtered out as a comparison selection option. “Consumers who rely on a basic account are especially vulnerable. Market transparency here is crucial to avoid unnecessarily burdening these people with costs,” said the head of the vzbv financial market team.

Since mid-2016, every German citizen has the legal right to a current account. All financial institutions must open a basic account on a “credit basis” for people without a permanent address if they wish to do so. Account holders receive a bank card and can transfer money. This account cannot be overdrawn.

Source: Frantfurter Allgemeine

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