Frankfurt / Main (dpa) - Negative interest rates at the start of the new year: According to data from the Internet portal Verivox, at least 16 institutes, above all Volksbanken and Sparkassen, introduced negative interest rates for private customers' investments or increased existing penalty interest rates in the first weeks of 2020.
"The impact of the wave of negative interest rates has increased significantly this year," said Oliver Maier, managing director of Verivox Finanzvergleich GmbH.
Maier pointed out that the introduction initially only applied to new customers. If a bank wants to charge penalty interest to existing customers, it must agree this individually with the person concerned.
According to Verivox data, for which price notices published on the Internet by 800 banks and savings banks are evaluated, 38 institutions are currently charging negative interest from private customers - usually for balances in the overnight deposit account. In addition, there would be seven financial institutions where the overnight money account cost fees. This would actually result in negative interest, even if it is not shown as such.
As a rule, it affects rich private customers. According to Verivox, however, five institutes are currently demanding negative interest rates for overnight deposits below EUR 100,000 - two of which completely waived a tax-free allowance.
CSU finance politician Hans Michelbach assumes that bank customers will face even more penalty interest in the future. "The spiral will continue to turn," said Michelbach of the "Passauer Neue Presse" (Saturday). As a result, people's confidence in the social market economy suffers. "People say it can't be that I have to pay interest myself on my badly earned money at the bank." Michelbach suggests an innovation fund launched by the state with a guaranteed interest rate of two percent as a safe investment alternative.
Commercial banks now have to pay 0.5 percent interest when parking excess funds at the European Central Bank (ECB). Even if there are now allowances for certain sums, this remains a billion dollar burden for the industry. The costs are now passed on by more and more financial institutions and charge their customers negative interest rates. According to the Bundesbank, there were 1783 banks and savings banks in Germany last year.
ECB key interest rate series
Kreissparkasse Stendal to call money account