More and more banks are introducing penalty interest on current accounts or overnight money. At the turn of the year alone, 20 banks were added.
For more and more savers, overnight money is turning into negative business with larger sums. At the turn of the year alone, according to an evaluation of the comparison portal “Verivox”, 24 banks and savings banks have Negative interest from certain sums introduced or existing regulations tightened.
This means that a total of 197 institutes are now adding penalty interest to private customers. “The wave of negative interest rates is rolling across the country with undiminished force,” analyzed Oliver Maier, managing director of Verivox Finanzvergleich GmbH. In his opinion, a trend reversal is not in sight for the time being.
“After the historic economic downturn in the wake of the corona pandemic, higher interest rates are not an issue for the foreseeable future,” argued Maier. “In the coming weeks and months, many more banks are likely to introduce negative interest rates.”
These banks introduced negative interest rates
Commercial banks currently have to pay 0.5 percent interest when they park excess funds at the European Central Bank (ECB). Even if there are now tax exemptions for certain sums, this remains a billion dollar burden for the industry. More and more financial institutions are passing on the costs in whole or in part and charging customers negative interest.
The comparison portal evaluates the price notices published on the Internet by around 800 banks and savings banks. Accordingly, 20 institutes introduced penalty interest at the beginning of the year. Three more have lowered the tax exemption. One institute has pushed negative interest rates deeper into the red.
Three direct banks also charge penalty interest on overnight money
According to the information, a total of 58 credit institutions grant their customers significantly less than EUR 100,000 exemption, of which nine banks charge penalty interest from the first EUR. In some cases, however, allowances can be agreed individually. The three largest direct banks in terms of customer numbers have also introduced negative interest rates. The information relates to call money accounts. In a few cases, the negative interest rate applies to the current account.
According to consumer advocates, negative interest rates are only permitted for existing and new customers if the custody fee has been explicitly agreed with them. It is not enough just to change the general terms and conditions.
Verivox points out that not all banks publish their price notice online or show negative interest rates. In fact, more than 197 banks are likely to charge private customers a custody fee. For comparison: According to the latest data from the Bundesbank, there were 1,717 credit institutions in Germany in 2019.