Zoom Image

Logo of Stadtsparkasse München: Report to the Lord Mayor

Photo: Sven Hoppe / dpa

After fierce protests against price increases, the Münchner Stadtsparkasse has partially relented. The bank announced that withdrawing money from ATMs should now remain free of charge. "We have followed the public discussion and understood that the new account models have raised questions in the public," said CEO Ralf Fleischer.

The largest savings bank in Bavaria and the fourth largest in Germany had announced on Monday new account models between which customers should decide: Depending on the model, the savings bank charges different basic fees and at the same time money for individual bookings. On the other hand, the higher the basic fee, the higher the number of free bookings. Only with the most expensive basic fee of 11.95 euros per month, all bookings are free of charge.

Since savings banks are municipal companies, the planned increases had led to sharp protests. The Bavarian Consumer Advice Centre had even called on customers to switch to other banks.

Finally, in Munich, the head of the city also intervened. The savings bank declared its partial withdrawal after a conversation between the CEO and Lord Mayor Dieter Reiter (SPD). He chairs the Board of Directors of the Savings Bank and thus has a decisive say as controller.

The Munich case is part of a larger, supra-regional dispute between consumer advocates and savings banks: The consumer centers of Bavaria, Brandenburg and Hesse have targeted the savings banks as a whole and demand, among other things, the maintenance of a nationwide branch and vending machine network.