Implementation of fee rulings: BaFin warns banks after complaints


Status: 10/26/2021 3:55 p.m.

The financial supervisory authority BaFin has urged the banks to implement a ruling by the Federal Court of Justice that has serious consequences for the credit industry. Because there are many complaints from customers.

The Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin) has asked the banks in Germany to implement the judgment of the Federal Court of Justice (BGH) from the end of April. At that time, the highest German civil court ruled that banks must obtain the active consent of their customers for changes to general terms and conditions. In many cases, credit institutions now have to subsequently ask for approval of the current list of prices and services. In addition, bank customers can reclaim fees that institutions have charged without express consent. According to Stiftung Warentest, customers can do this retrospectively until the beginning of 2018.

Fast and fair implementation called for

In the supervisory notification, BaFin called on banks to implement the Karlsruhe ruling quickly and fairly. Customers would have to be “clearly and comprehensibly” informed about the consequences of the judgment and wrongly charged fees would have to be reimbursed, the Bonn authority announced today. In addition, the institutes would have to set up provisions.

Customers should also have a contact for questions, explained the financial supervisory authority. When adapting their contracts, those affected should “not be put under pressure”. In addition, banks are not allowed to continue to levy “illegal fees”.

Threat threatens with “supervisory measures”

The banks would have to “initiate” these steps immediately. Otherwise, BaFin will consider “supervisory measures”. BaFin can ultimately oblige the banks to follow its instructions.

The ruling of the Federal Court of Justice affects almost every bank customer relationship, said the new BaFin boss Mark Branson. “Fast, unbureaucratic, transparent implementation is all the more important.”

Since then, consumer advocates have criticized the fact that numerous banks refused to reimburse illegal fees. The Federation of German Consumer Organizations (vzbv) announced yesterday that there would be a model determination procedure against the Berliner Sparkasse and Sparkasse KölnBonn.

Many customers also complained to BaFin about their bank, said a spokeswoman for the AFP news agency.


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