Stiftung Warentest: Not even one in ten giro accounts is free

Tuesday, 22.08.17 , written by Anja Schlicht At least once a year, the Stiftung Warentest takes a look at the cost of checking accounts. In the current test for the financial test (09/2017), 231 accounts were compared. Only 23 of them are free. Account holders who want to switch to a cheaper account 

 Stiftung Warentest: Diese Girokonten sind noch kostenlos zu haben

Current account test of Stiftung Warentest: 23 of 231 accounts are free

In the current checking account test of Stiftung Warentest shows that the number of free accounts has further reduced . While in the previous year 25 offers were free for bank customers, there are now only 23. However, many of these current accounts can incur unnecessary costs if certain services are not used online, such as changing a standing order. The credit card is not always free. Accordingly, bank customers who want to change their checking account should pay close attention to the exact conditions .

Current account test: In 2017, bank customers can choose between 23 free accounts

Of the 23 free checking accounts, 13 are available nationwide, with nine bank accounts being offered by online banks. These include:

Bank customers who value a branch with a personal contact person will find free checking accounts at PSD Niederbayern-Oberpfalz, Santander Bank, Sparda Hessen and Santander Consumer Bank. There are also a number of regional financial institutions where the account is free.

Tip: A law that has been in force since 2016 makes it much easier for bank customers to change current account. For example, the old bank has to transfer all existing transfers and direct debits to the new one.

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Free checking account requires partly money receipt

For the 23 accounts, it does not matter what the monthly cash receipt is. On the other hand, some other banks attach free account management to certain conditions, such as a certain salary or pension receipt or a continuous credit balance , which in some cases must be in the five-digit range. In addition, it makes sense for those interested in change to consider the dispozins . In the free offers without ifs and buts, the interest for the credit line varies between 5.7 percent and 10.87 percent.

Stiftung Warentest warns of unnecessary costs for checking accounts

In the course of its current account test, the Stiftung Warentest criticizes that the price increases made by some banks have “absurd features” . For example, some customers of the Frankfurter Volksbank have to pay 35 cents per withdrawal at the machine if they withdraw their money from the bank account outside the opening hours of the bank. Even with the girocard long individual financial institutions too . While these offer many banks for free, fall for example at the Kreissparkasse Kaiserslautern 16 € per year, at Sparda Münster, Hannoversche Volksbank, Sparkasse Nuremberg, Dortmunder Volksbank and the Sparda Hannover, it is twelve euros annually.

Here are tips and more information about the investment. >

Anja Schlicht

editorial staff

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Sunday, 29.01.17 , written by Anja Schlicht Retired persons can only become compulsory health insurance for pensioners (KVdR) who have been at least 90 per cent statutory health insurance during the second half of their working life. Anyone who does not fulfill this requirement must pay for themselves voluntarily. But the government is now planning improvements. >

Regierung plant Änderungen Krankenversicherung für Rentner

If the costs for the health insurance eat up the pension

Many seniors who are privately or voluntarily covered by statutory health insurance are under financial pressure. Because the contributions for the health insurance devour a large part of their pension . Women in particular are burdened with this because they often have lower pension entitlements than men, for example because they have given up their work for the upbringing of children and subsequently only worked in mini and part-time jobs. In addition: Many pensioners make payments for voluntary health insurance unprepared. They were unaware that they would forfeit their claim to the KVdR if, for example, they had been privately insured for some time through their civil servants.

Weakened 9/10 scheme planned for health insurance

In order to become a mandatory health insurance member for pensioners , insured persons must have been insured for at least 9 / 10ths of their statutory health insurance in the second half of their working lives . It does not matter whether it is a voluntary, compulsory or family insurance. However, this regulation should now be defused, reports the Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung. Therefore, a legislative initiative is planned for mid-February. This stipulates that in the future, child-raising periods of up to three years per child should be credited as a member of the statutory health insurance scheme.

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Legislative initiative to come in mid-February 2017

The new regulation could relieve persons, especially mothers, who only have a few years left to fulfill the requirements for the KVdR. As a member of health insurance for retirees, they would have to spend significantly less on their pension for voluntary health insurance . This is because all incomes, not just the pension as with the KVdR, are taken into account for the calculation of the health insurance contribution. In addition, the full contribution rate is due. In the case of the KVdR, however, the statutory pension insurance takes over half. However, voluntarily insured pensioners can apply for a contribution subsidy from their pension scheme. According to the German Pension Insurance, this amounts to 7.3 percent of the pension payment amount.

The planned adjustment, like the new regulations on maternity protection for private insured persons and changes for health insurances, is to be implemented with the Healing and Aid Provision Act.

Here you will find tips and further information on the statutory health insurance. >

Anja Schlicht

editorial staff

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European election: vote? What has the EU done for me?

Tuesday, 20.05.14 , written by Anja Schlicht On May 25th is European election. But there is little interest in European politics in Germany. At the last election in 2009 not even one in two citizens has voted. The EU Parliament has recently passed many laws that benefit consumers. However, the Best of EU laws show that some controversial guidelines have been adopted. >

Best of EU-Gesetze: Was hat das EU-Parlament bisher erreicht EU Parliament will be re-elected on Sunday

On Sunday, millions of Germans are called to vote for a new European Parliament. But many citizens are asking themselves: what do I care about the EU? Already at the last European elections five years ago, more than half of the citizens of the polling booth stayed away. In doing so, the European Parliament advocates many important laws that benefit consumer protection and thus people directly. These include resolutions on checking accounts for all, more protection for real estate loans , greater security in online shopping and improved transparency in insurance products. For consumers, however, the Solvency II regulations and the proposed financial transaction tax could have a negative impact. The following Best of shows what the EU has done in the past and why it pays to go to the European elections on 25 May.

Checking account for everyone

From 2016, all EU citizens should be entitled to open a current account without a permanent residence. While the vast majority of Germans have a checking account, there are around 58 million people in the EU who have to manage without the account. With the bank account online transfers should be possible as well as withdraw the money at ATMs and Europe-wide transfers. After the implementation of the regulation, Germany has for the first time a legal claim to the “current account for everyone”.

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More rights for package travelers

With another law, the European Parliament wants to strengthen the rights of consumers in package holidays. A corresponding bill has already been adopted at first reading. From 2016, for example, organizers will have to cover the costs for a maximum of five nights if the trip home is not possible due to “unavoidable, exceptional circumstances”. If a flight is delayed by more than three hours, travelers may be entitled to reimbursement or a similar package holiday, according to the EU Parliament’s plan.

More protection when shopping online

Some parts of the EU Consumer Rights Directive have already been implemented in Germany. So online shops have for some time a button with the label “order to pay” integrate. As of June 13, 2014, the policy is now fully effective. As a result, further changes are coming to online retailers and consumers. The 14-day withdrawal period will soon apply throughout Europe. By contrast, the new regulations for returns and returns on revocation are less pleasing. The return costs will no longer have to be paid by the seller in the future.

Editor’s tip: Which party suits me?

25 parties are available. Anyone who does not yet know which party is most likely to defend their own interests at the European level can find this out with the Wahl-O-Mat.

EU Parliament advocates more insured and patient rights

Thanks to the European Parliament, patient rights have improved across Europe. Patients can now seek treatment abroad at any time. Health insurance – legal or private – will cover the costs that treatment would cause domestically. The EU is also working hard on improving consumer protection in the insurance sector. Who concludes a capital-forming life insurance, should be informed in the future with a uniform information sheet on risks and costs. The same applies to financial products. But here is still a final decision. The Federal Government has already introduced such an information sheet for Riester products.

More education in real estate loans

With new rights in the conclusion of a real estate loan, the EU wants to ensure that lending in the future with more responsibility on the part of providers. It is anticipated that from April 2015, lenders will need to provide detailed information on risks and costs, especially the future interest and principal, before the loan is finalized. If a customer can no longer pay the installments, the bank should find a customer-friendly solution to avoid a high debt mountain. In addition, every borrower gets a guaranteed right of withdrawal.

Way free for banking union

In the wake of the banking and financial crisis, the European Parliament has come to terms after a long struggle for a banking union. If a bank goes bankrupt, then from 2016, mainly creditors and owners for the rescue to jump in financially. Savers who have less than € 100,000 in their account will not be charged. “The aim of the regulations is to limit the liability of customers and taxpayers and thus to reduce disincentives in the banking sector,” said the Verbraucherzentrale Bundesverband.

Info box: Central tasks of the European Parliament

The European Parliament has three central tasks: to adopt EU legislation, to control other EU institutions such as the European Commission, to adopt the EU budget.

Financial transaction tax decided

Not every regulation shared by the European Parliament has a positive impact on consumers. For example, a tax of between 0.1 and 0.01 percentage points on the sale or purchase of financial products such as shares, fixed-income securities and foreign exchange should be levied in 2016. Although this financial transaction tax flushes additional money into the household budget, it can put a more financial burden on investors and also on customers of old-age provision. Although the European Parliament does not have codecision rights according to the ARD. But the parliament had expressed its agreement in December 2012 so that the EU Commission could take appropriate action.

New regulations for the insurance industry

The same applies to the Solvency II regulations. Here, the directive was drafted by the EU Commission, which was adopted by the European Parliament. This happened in 2009. Only in 2016 should the rules be implemented. A key element of the law, in simple terms, is that providers have to provide more capital for certain investments. In addition, they have to raise several billion euros. Critics fear that this could lead to higher contributions or lower payouts for insured persons. However, it remains to be seen what negative consequences the new regulations will have.

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Learning The Basics Of Buying Stocks And Shares Online

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