Karlsruhe Bausparkassen are not allowed to charge their customers a flat-rate fee such as an annual fee, even during the savings phase. The Federal Court of Justice (BGH) ruled on Tuesday that such a fee puts savers at an unreasonable disadvantage because it means that costs for administrative activities are passed on to them.
The highest civil judges in Karlsruhe declared a clause in the building society savings conditions of BHW Bausparkasse to be invalid, according to which twelve euros a year are due for each account during the savings phase. The Federal Association of Consumer Centers had sued to bring about a fundamental decision. There are similar fees at many other building societies. (Az. XI ZR 551/21)
In the savings phase, home savers initially pay part of the home savings sum themselves. If the contract is “ready for allocation”, the loan phase begins, in which the customer can take out the remaining amount as a loan. For the loan phase, the BGH had already decided in 2017 that annual account fees are inadmissible.
More: The return of home savings contracts
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