Finance

At these banks, savers have to pay

Whoever saves money actually hopes that deposits will increase over time through interest. However, the opposite is becoming more and more the case: Now the first banks are charging negative interest without a tax-free allowance on private overnight money.

After the European Central Bank (ECB) pushed the interest rate for banks further into the red, banks are increasingly passing these costs on to their customers. The result is negative interest, which is now also levied on private overnight money.

VR-Bank Westmünsterland charges negative interest without an allowance

VR-Bank Westmünsterland has recently raised a negative interest rate of -0.5 percent without a tax-free allowance on private overnight money. There is also negative interest on balances in the checking account (also -0.5 percent) – but only from an individual allowance. That reports the consumer portal Verivox. This makes VR-Bank Westmünsterland the second bank after VR-Bank Fürstenfeldbruck, which has introduced negative interest on private overnight deposits without granting an exemption to savers.

“For a long time, wealthy private customers in particular were affected by negative interest rates. But this dam is broken,” says Oliver Maier, managing director of Verivox Finanzvergleich GmbH. “Over the next few weeks and months, we expect more banks to introduce negative interest rates. It will be harder for banks to evade the trend towards negative interest rates, at least when customers start to move deposits on a large scale.”

But there are also banks that do not charge negative interest rates, but instead charge monthly fees for their overnight accounts. According to Verivox, this results in de facto negative interest from the first euro, even if the bank shows 0.00 percent or 0.01 percent interest.

An overview of banks that charge negative interest

In response to the ECB’s low interest rate policy, the following banks have introduced negative interest on call money, according to their public price lists:

Financial institutionInterest rate in percentAllowance
Berliner Volksbank-0.5100,000 euros
Ethics bank-0.4100,000 euros
Oldenburgische Landesbank (OLB)-0.4100,000 euros
Skatbank-0.5100,000 euros
Sparda-Bank Berlin-0.4100,000 euros
Sparkasse Harburg-Buxtehude-0.4500,000 euros
Sparkasse Rotenburg-Osterholz-0.51,000,000 euros
Volksbank Baden-Baden Rastatt-0.2500,000 euros
Volksbank Dresden-Bautzen-0.51,000,000 euros
Volksbank Eisenberg-0.4100,000 euros
Volksbank Ettlingen-0.5250,000 euros
Volksbank Freiburg-0.4750,000 euros
Volksbank in the Ortenau-0.13100,000 euros
Volksbank Magdeburg-0.575,000 euros
Volksbank Middle Black Forest-0.5250,000 euros
Volksbank Rhein-Nahe-Hunsrück-0.5100,000 euros
Volksbank Stendal-0.4100,000 euros
VR bank Alzenau-0.4N / A
VR Bank Bayreuth-Hof-0.6300,000 euros
VR-Bank Fürstenfeldbruch-0.5no allowance
VR Bank Landsberg-Ammersee-0.4300,000 euros
VR Bank Mittelachsen-0.4100,000 euros
VR Bank Westmünsterland-0.5no allowance

However, there are also differences between the banks, so that there are a total of 23 banks with negative interest rates – in most cases with a quite high exemption. There are also seven banks where the overnight money account costs fees:

Financial institutionfees
Ethics bank3.50 euros per month
GLS bank5 euros per month
Kreissparkasse StendalN / A
Raiffeisenbank Unteres Vilstal5 euros per month
Sparkasse Freyung-Grafenau1 euro per month
Volksbank Eisenberg3.50 euros per month
Volksbank Raiffeisenbank Lower Silesia5 to 50 euros per month

Since Verivox only evaluates conditions for private customers from a database with 800 banks, it may also be the case that other banks charge negative interest rates – even without an exemption.

How can you avoid negative interest?

According to Maier, when banks introduce a new negative interest rate, this only applies to new customers. “If a bank wants to charge negative interest from existing customers, it has to agree this individually with the customers concerned,” explains the expert. In individual cases, an individual letter of price adjustment may be sufficient.

“In this case, we advise savers to switch. Even in the current low interest rate, negative interest rates are not a natural law. Top banks in other EU countries currently pay 0.65 percent,” says Maier. “With German deposit insurance, there is still up to 0.31 percent.”

Ultimately, there are three rules you should follow to protect yourself from negative interest rates:

  1. Compare and change overnight money offers
  2. Don’t invest too much money as overnight money
  3. Invest the remaining savings correctly

Since low interest rates have become permanent, long-term investors should also consider alternatives in the stock market, advises Maier. “Anyone who has invested in the DAX and waited for at least 15 years has never been in the red and has an average annual return of over five percent.”

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