Bausparkassen cannot demand a so-called annual fee from their customers during the savings phase of the loan. According to the eleventh civil senate of the federal court (BGH) ineffective. It is incompatible with the basic ideas of the legal norm and unreasonably disadvantages the saver.
Through the annual fee, the company passes on the costs of administrative activities in the savings phase to the customer, which they have to provide due to a legal obligation, according to the judgment of Tuesday, which the Federal Association of Consumer Organizations (vzbv) fought for.
The district court in Hanover and the higher regional court in Celle had already ruled in favor of consumer protection groups. The BGH referred the unsuccessful building society to the possibility of requesting a closing fee upon conclusion of the contract. An annual fee, on the other hand, does not contribute to the “functionality of the home loan and savings system”, which outweighs the associated disadvantages for the individual saver (Az. XI ZR 551/21).
In autumn 2017, the Federal Court of Justice (BGH) rejected the “loan fees”, which were still common at the time, with a similar argument. Since then, building societies have not been allowed to charge additional fees when a customer requests a home loan that is due. At the time, the judges in Karlsruhe declared the clause in the contract, according to which the credit institutions could demand a fee from the savers, to be invalid.