A monthly base price of 8.99 euros for a basic account with Deutsche Bank is too high. The Federal Court of Justice (BGH) found this to be unreasonably high and decided that the bank should not allocate the additional costs associated with the management of basic accounts to the holders of such an account alone.
The judges appealed to the relevant legal requirements for the financial sector. They did not name a specific upper limit. The bank must now also reduce the fees for existing accounts.
The Federation of German Consumer Organizations (vzbv) had sued. The BGH rejected the revision raised by Deutsche Bank as the highest authority. The consumer advocates had turned against the basic monthly price of 8.99 euros and the additional fee of 1.50 euros that had to be paid for transfers by an employee on the phone or in the branch.
The fee clauses did not stand up to control and are therefore ineffective, the Federal Court of Justice justified. According to legal requirements, fees for basic account functions should be reasonable. It should be borne in mind that a basic account should "in particular also give low-income consumers access to a payment account".
The basic account was introduced for all banks in 2016 to enable people with little money to do basic banking. For example, homeless people or refugees should also have a checking account. The banks are fundamentally obliged to open the account upon request without prior checking. But it doesn't have to be free. For some years now everyone living in the EU has a right to a current account. Since then, banks have also had to accept the homeless and asylum seekers as customers.