Investors should definitely react to penalty interest.

They are a good occasion to think about investing.

A lot of people do this far too seldom.

First question: is the bank that is trying to subvert a penalty interest disguised as a “custody fee” from us, still the right one?

If there are doubts and a certain willingness to switch, you can let it depend and simply not sign the new terms and conditions with custody fee.

Let's see what happens and whether the bank really cancels the business relationship.

Daniel Mohr

Editor in the economy of the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung.

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A second or third bank can also be useful in order to diversify the assets and thus stay below the asset limits above which banks levy the penalty interest.

Everyone has to know for themselves whether the effort is worthwhile.

For 20,000 euros at 0.5 percent minus interest it is 100 euros, which could be avoided, for 50,000 euros it is 250 euros.

These figures should also be kept in mind when the bank asks for an interview in order to put alternatives to the current account and overnight money account on the table.

A fund with a 3 percent issue surcharge is much more expensive than the custody fee of 0.5 percent.

Especially since fund fees are still due annually afterwards.

Everyone should persistently ask their advisor the question of costs.

If the previous investment in the current account was carefully considered, everything should not be thrown overboard just because of the penalty interest.

It wasn't when the interest rate dropped much more from 3 to 0 percent.

If, on the other hand, the previous financial investment was the result of a certain inertia, it is time to think about other forms of financial investment.

The advisor's fund offered can be quite useful.

Exchange-traded index funds (ETF) are an inexpensive alternative.

In general, investments in shares are riskier, but also more promising than savings accounts.

If you don't want any risk, you have to look to the German government bond with a ten-year term.

This currently brings minus 0.3 percent return.

Everything that is better also carries more risk.

That's the way it is in a low interest rate environment.