Winterbach (dpa / lsw) - Only a few banks in Baden-Württemberg still offer free current accounts.

Winterbacher Bank is one of the last cooperative banks to introduce account management fees on April 1st.

The low interest rate policy of the European Central Bank makes this necessary, said bank board member Gerhard Burr.

According to him, customers react with great understanding - and with account adjustments: If you have multiple accounts, you close them in order to save fees.

"That's what we want, because every account costs us money," said Burr.

Another trend: the switch to an electronic mailbox and the abolition of the bank statement printer.

"It also saves paper and is more sustainable."

Only 30 percent of the customers of the bank in the Rems-Murr district (total assets 203 million euros) have a purely stationary account, 70 percent do online banking.

For years, cost pressure has been forcing more and more Volksbanks and Raiffeisenbanks to merge.

But there is also an opposite development, emphasized Burr: "Customers are very interested in personal support on site with contact persons who have their own decision-making authority and have known the customers for a long time."


According to the savings bank association, there is no savings bank in the southwest with a free current account for everyone.

The supply is also shrinking at direct banks and online banks without branches.

"The account is not a free event for the bank," says the President of the Baden-Württemberg Cooperative Association, Roman Glaser.

Small and medium-sized institutions not only suffered from the low interest rate policy, but also from increasing requirements from banking supervision.

© dpa-infocom, dpa: 210307-99-720931 / 2