Premium savings contracts: Statute of limitations for claims against banks threatens

Status: December 3rd, 2021 4:27 p.m.

For years, customers have been arguing with their banks about the level of interest on premium savings contracts. Now many claims threaten to expire at the end of the year.

In the dispute about the interest on old premium savings contracts, the statute of limitations for claims of numerous customers at the end of the year threatens. “It is therefore worthwhile to take action and take a measure preventing the statute of limitations,” says Andreas Eichhorn, board member of the consumer association Saxony.

Many premium savings plans, hundreds of thousands of which were signed in the 1990s and 2000s, contained inadmissible clauses. These entitle the banks to unilaterally largely freely adjust the interest rate. Savings banks are primarily affected, but also Volksbank and Raiffeisenbanken.

BGH declares clauses to be ineffective

The Federal Court of Justice declared the aforementioned clauses ineffective in 2004 and commented on the requirements in later decisions – most recently on how the claims are to be calculated.

As the consumer advocates have determined together with experts, the interest rates have been set too low by the financial institutions for years in almost all cases. As a rule, it was not understandable for consumers how the banks had set the variable interest rate.

The clock is ticking

According to earlier calculations by the consumer advocates, it is an average of an additional payment of 3100 euros per contract. If the banks wall, the affected bank customers have to take action themselves.

The statute of limitations begins to run from the time the premium savings contract is terminated. But there are several ways to stop the statute of limitations. Affected parties can file claims for a model declaratory action against their bank, complain to the ombudsman or initiate legal steps such as a dunning or legal action.

It is important to take action quickly. The right to additional interest payments can no longer be enforced three years after the end of the year in which the bank terminated the contract.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.