Chamber of Labor: Banks are offering fewer and fewer savings accounts

Not only is interest available less and less, savings books are also becoming scarce. A test by the Chamber of Labor (AK) shows: Only six out of eleven banks still offer a classic savings book without a commitment period. The minimal interest income is then eaten up by the expenses. The AK demands: Consumers should be able to choose between savings books and online savings accounts when it comes to forms of savings; there should be no compulsion to use digital savings products.

The AK asked eleven banks with branches in Vienna in July and August: Austrian Anadi Bank, Bank Austria, BAWAG PSK, BKS Bank, DenizBank, Erste Bank, Hypo Oberösterreich, Oberbank, Raiffeisenlandesbank Niederösterreich-Wien, VakifBank International and WSK Bank .

Of the eleven banks surveyed, only six offer a savings account with no commitment period, from which you can withdraw your money on a daily basis. Three only have it for existing customers, with two banks a savings account is no longer possible.

Nine out of eleven banks have online savings accounts, and two do not have this product. Sparcards, i.e. saving with a bank card, are available from four banks. Only three banks offer a savings book with an agreed binding period. Capital savings accounts, i.e. a fixed amount tied for a certain period of time, still have four banks, three only for existing customers, with four banks none can be opened.

“Savings books are no longer really in fashion at the banks,” sums up AK consumer advocate Christian Prantner. “The interest on savings products are in the basement. In addition, the expenses eat up the narrow interest income completely.” Bank Austria charges a fee of 20 euros just for opening a savings account – with an interest rate of 0.01 percent per year, a daily withdrawable savings balance of 10,000 euros would have to be invested for 26.7 years to only cover the opening fees of 20 euros through the To offset interest income.

Closing fees for the savings book of, for example, four euros can completely eat up the minimal interest income. The banks pay interest of 0.001 to 0.125 percent per year for savings products due daily (savings book, savings account / card, online savings). With a longer commitment, a little more is possible: with a five-year fixed-term deposit, the bandwidth ranges from 0.05 to 0.50 percent per year. So-called negative interest rates, i.e. deductions by the bank for the credit balance, are not allowed to apply to savings accounts according to an OGH ruling in Austria. A comparison of interest and expenses for savings is available at www.ak-bankenrechner.at.

The AK advises all savers: Ask the bank about expenses and costs, for example for booking lines, the card fee and the account management fee. To protect savings, the deposit protection applies: Savings and giro deposits are secured with 100,000 euros per customer and bank. If you want to invest in securities instead of saving, you have to consider the higher risk and possibly higher costs.

The AK survey “Where is there still a savings book” can be read at www.arbeiterkammer.at/sparen.

 
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