Consumer users do not want to accept the behavior of some credit institutions in the dispute over account fees without a fight.
We have to see whether individual cases turn into a scam, for example, threatening consumers with unauthorized account confirmations, said the head of the federation of german consumer organizations (vzbv), klaus muller, to the deutsche presse-agentur in berlin. "In this respect, my appeal to the financial sector is quite clear: you can also gamble away your trust."
The german federal supreme court (BGH) ruled at the end of april that banks must obtain their customers’ consent when changing general terms and conditions (GTC). Credit institutions must now ask for approval of current fees after the fact. Customers can also reclaim fees that were charged without their explicit consent.
Savings bank sends customer notice of claim
Muller stressed: "and if we do not now see that the inadmissible account fees are refunded, then we will go to court in a second round."Banks and savings banks had to comply with the BGH ruling. "They must comply on their own initiative," muller demanded.
According to the vzbv’s initial findings, one savings bank and a few smaller cooperative banks have so far taken a refund request as an opportunity to clarify the account relationship with the customer. In the case of the savings bank, the notice is inadmissible in the opinion of the vzbv. It contradicts the savings banks’ basic legal service mandate.
At the end of june, the verbraucherzentrale bundesverband called on bank customers to report how their bank or savings bank had reacted to the BGH ruling. Accordingly, a four-digit number of consumers have responded to the call so far.