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Economic test warns against expensive basic accounts

For people with probably poor credit ratings, a bank account is often very expensive, according to a study by Stiftung Warentest. Those who are poor and have no regular income usually pay for a checking account much more than salaries and pension recipients, writes Stiftung Warentest associated magazine "Finanztest".

In a comparison of 124 banks and 185 account models, account management at Since 2016, banks have been required by law to offer basic accounts in the form of clean credit accounts ̵

1; intended for people with poor credit ratings, such as homeless or refugees.

The accounts should give them access to cashless payments. The account holder receives a bank card and can transfer money. Such an account cannot be transferred. The fees should be "reasonable" and may also include a profit from the institutions.

Consumer advocates have already been sued for excessive fees for basic accounts and also got right. Economic test now writes that due to increased base prices and higher fees for paper transfers, the fees over the past two years have, even more, in some cases.

"Economic test" illuminates two banks positively

Only two of the analyzed banks offered a basic account free of charge on October 1. According to the testers, financial institutions often justify prices with extra costs for advising and opening basic accounts.

According to the "Finanztest", the most expensive basic account offered by Salzland's savings bank in the test, closely followed by Targobank. For both banks, therefore, the tested model account costs about 250 euros per year. According to the "financial test", the Targo Bank is just under € 90 more than in the previous report in 2017. Although the basic price and the price of paper transfers have remained the same, but the bank grants only ten paperless bookings per month for free, for each additional 55 cents due.

"Finanztest" highlights two banks with free base accounts: PSD Karlsruhe-Neustadt and Sparda Baden-Württemberg. Sparda Munich is also cheap with five euros (nationally) and Sparda Südwest with twelve euros per year.

According to "Finanztest", the basic account is usually not free even if it is run online. But this variant is usually cheaper than getting customers to keep the account in the store.

Here you can find the complete test of "Finanztest" for free.

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