The Berlin direct bank DKB, actually popular with younger and thrifty customers because of its low costs, is lowering its allowance for negative interest.

A spokesman for the FAZ confirmed corresponding reports on Thursday.

From September 1st, new customers will be charged a custody fee of 0.5 percent for credit balances of more than 50,000 euros on current and overnight accounts.

Previously, the tax exemption was 100,000 euros.

Christian Siedenbiedel

Editor in business.

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Existing customers should no longer be spared negative interest rates either.

In the coming days, the bank will contact customers with particularly high deposits to agree a custody fee with them.  

Due to falling interest margins and significantly increasing deposits, they see themselves being forced to pass the negative interest rate of the European Central Bank more on to customers, said the bank spokesman.

Most recently, Commerzbank and Postbank lowered the limit for negative interest to 50,000 euros.

The direct bank ING, an important competitor of the DKB, has announced this step for November.

Michael Ermrich, President of the East German Savings Banks Association, said in a Bloomberg interview a few days ago that he assumed that the industry trend towards calculating custody fees would continue with a simultaneous lowering of the exemption limits.

The Stuttgart banking professor Hans-Peter Burghof had even taken the view that it might be the more honest solution if banks would charge negative interest from everyone without tax allowances instead of repeatedly turning the fee screw.

The Alternative Bank Switzerland, once one of the pioneers of negative interest rates, had recently taken this route.

According to figures from the comparison portal Biallo, 520 institutes in Germany now take negative interest from customers, including 483 banks and savings banks from private customers.