Commissions are one of the great fears of bank customers. This year, in addition, some entities have tightened the conditions for unrelated clients. Individuals with few movements in the eyes of the bank (those who do not direct their payroll or do not use the cards, for example) are tighter than before in terms of expenses.
The Bank of Spain received 2,134 complaints related to the collection of commissions during 2020. An increase of 91% compared to the previous year. Although banks are free to decide the amount they are going to charge for their services, some exceptions are in favor of the customer.
International transfers (SEPA zone)
The regulations put a limit on international transfer fees. Sending money to a eurozone country cannot be “taxed” with a higher commission than when sending money within the same country. That is, the expenses are the same in national transfers and in transfers to destination accounts of a country of the SEPA zone, Europe’s single payment area.
In this way, the European regulation has recognized since 2009 the principle of equality in transfers of up to 50,000 euros. Some banks include among their services the option of ordering free SEPA transfers through their digital channels, in some cases without the client being linked.
Of the more than 2,000 complaints received by the Bank of Spain891 were claims for the collection of maintenance commissions on the account linked to the mortgage. The bank can charge for the maintenance of the associated account, but there is a cap on the overcharge.
Mortgages contracted before April 29, 2012 they are released from this cost, provided that one condition is met: the account must be used to pay the monthly installments of that mortgage. Both for those before and after that date, the bank will not be able to modify the cost of the account while the mortgage is in force.
Finect dispose of a showcase of banking products on which data such as profitability or commissions to which they are subject can be consulted.
Red numbers are the same as saying that the bank account is overdrawn. Calling him one way or another will not prevent the bank from charging a small amount (around 35 euros) for the paperwork to solve the hole in the customer’s piggy bank.
“If there is an overdraft in your account, the entity will claim your payment, it will take the necessary steps to recover the unpaid debt and will pass on the expenses generated by these procedures ”, clarifies the Bank of Spain. However, this cost can only be charged once for the same debt, even when the default is prolonged in time.
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Discovered by mismatches
Receiving a transfer or depositing a check does not mean that the money is instantly available in the account. Accounting date (the day of the operation) and value date (after accounting) they are usually different in an account deposit.
The value date is used by entities to calculate interest. The greater the distance between the two, the higher the costs will be borne by the client. But these cases are considered a technical mismatch and the mismatch fee cannot be applied. Especially from the Royal Decree Law 19/2018, which reduced the terms: consumers who deposit cash in an account can now have it almost instantly, the value date being reflected on the same day of the operation.
It is advisable not to neglect a account “empty” and drop it in oblivion. An inactive account is not a canceled account. The Spanish supervisor indicates that “leaving the balance at zero” is insufficient to cancel: “It is necessary to give express instructions, in writing, to your bank, requesting the cancellation”.
With all Bank of Spain highlights that according to good banking practices, the bank cannot charge “commissions and interest for the overdraft whose sole cause is the charge of commissions in the account.” Thus, there is a consensus that an account that takes a long time to zero is considered inactive and not generating maintenance costs. Therefore, it is not usually taxed, even if it remains in the list of user accounts.