The Briefing

Did you Pay Too Much for your Account?

BGH ruling vs. banks – price increases were illegal

May 14, 2021
Reading time 2 min.

🌈 A quick taster for you:

  • Costs for accounts have been adjusted in some GTCs
  • Banks took silence as consent
  • Retroactive refunds are possible up to 01.01.18

🧐 Why do I care?

  • Have your bank's fees increased since 2018?
    - If YES:
    did you actively agree?
    - Probably NO:
    then you have the right to get the fees refunded. 
  • Here we show you how you can get the money back.

🔍 What exactly is happening here?

  • Many banks, including neo-banks and digital banks, advertise free accounts to customers. Of course, this appeals to many people.
  • Do you have a free account?
  • After the customer has settled in, many providers increase the prices.
    - It is important to note that it is not only about accounts but any fees that are incurred!
    - Out of habit and laziness, many do not switch providers, but simply pay the increased fee.
  • This increase was simply specified in the providers' GTCs. Until now, customer silence was considered consent.

🤓 What does this mean for me?

  • You only have to pay the fee that was in the price list at the time you opened the account. 
  • What is a price list and where can I find it?
    Step 1: Quite simply, do you know where your bank statements are?
    Step 2: You probably have them printed out in a folder or digitally in the ‘mailbox’ of your online bank account.
  • And what happens after the judgment? As soon as you have found the price list, you can read what fees have been incurred.
  • By when do I have to apply for a refund? The deadline is the beginning of December, 2021.

💥 We were inspired by this!

"Silence is not consent. That is the key message of the latest ruling by the German Federal Court of Justice (BGH) on banks' practice of not requiring customers to expressly agree to changes in their general terms and conditions (AGB). Although the ruling was about fee changes by Postbank, other banks were quick to respond." - Tagesschau, 04.05.2021

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