Four euros for cash at the ATM

It has been seven years since the Federal Cartel Office criticized the excessively high cash fees at the ATMs. And what has happened since then?

The cash fees at many banks have now risen significantly.

Dhe cash fees have now risen significantly at many banks. ING Diba, for example, has been taking 3.90 euros for two months when a foreign customer withdraws money from its ATMs. Until then it was 1.95 euros, a price increase of 100 percent. “The previous limit of 1.95 euros was a voluntary agreement between the private banks,” said a bank spokeswoman. “Unfortunately, almost all banks involved have now increased their third-party customer fee to at least EUR 3.90.”

The FMH-Finanzberatung in Frankfurt, which compares the different terms and conditions of banks, confirmed this. “The savings banks never took part in the agreement at the time and were demanding ever higher fees,” said Sigrid Herbst from FMH. “That has not changed either.” The cash group of the private banks now usually charge 3.95 euros from outside customers at their machines.

More and more banks are now also charging their own customers fees for withdrawing money from ATMs – at least if a cheap account model is chosen. In a survey, the Internet portal Biallo identified 69 savings banks, one direct bank and 311 Volks- und Raiffeisenbanken, which in some way charge a fee at the machine from their own customers.

The possibility of free cancellation

The consumer advice centers are following the excesses of this development critically and are looking for a legal dispute with the banks. According to information from the FAZ, the dispute between the consumer center Saxony and the Sparda-Bank Berlin ends up in Berlin before the court of justice. The bank had introduced a fee of 2 percent of sales, but at least five euros for withdrawing money with the credit card.

She cited the burden of the interest rate level and the ECB’s policy of negative deposit rates. The consumer advice center found the fee quite steep and therefore picked out the information letter from the bank with which it had informed its customers about the increase in the fee.

The consumer advocates complained that the customers had not been sufficiently informed about the possibility of a free cancellation. This should be used as a lever to tilt the pay. It must be said, however, that the bank continued to offer the option of withdrawing money with the bank card free of charge, at least domestically. The Berlin Regional Court had found the consumer center right on January 19 on the essential points (file number 15 O 235/17).

The bank was ordered to fail to invoke the effectiveness of the relevant formulation. In the opinion of the consumer advice center, this would have meant that the bank customers could claim back the fees paid or the bank could even repay the machine fees to all customers on its own initiative. The Sparda-Bank appeals, however, so the case ends up before the Court of Justice.