In Germany, around 700.000 people over the age of 15 are doing without a checking account. Socially disadvantaged people in particular are often denied the opportunity to set up an account for everyone by the banks. The reasons: no or low income, the receipt of social benefits such as Hartz IV, Schufa entries, indebtedness, etc.. But with that since 19. June 2016 end. Due to the Payment Account Act, every German bank is legally obligated to open a current account on a credit basis for every citizen.
In order to avert a legal regulation, the Central Credit Committee (ZKA) decided in 1995 that banks would set up a checking account for "everyone. This "Everyman account," also called a "citizen account" or "basic account," will exclusively on credit basis (credit account), but otherwise offers all the possibilities of a conventional checking account.
Nevertheless, over the years, banks have repeatedly rejected socially disadvantaged customers. Only at the savings banks and partly also at the Volks- and Raiffeisenbanken it was really possible for everyone to open a current account. This is now over. On Sunday, the 19. June 2016, the Payment Accounts Act (ZKG) came into force, which follows the EU directive from 2015.
Basic account – The new current account for everyone
With immediate effect, every bank in Germany is legally obliged to open a current account on a credit basis for every consumer, regardless of his or her social status.
Who can open a basic account?
- Hartz IV recipients
- Asylum seekers and homeless people
- Refugees and seasonal workers
- People whose current account has been terminated due to a garnishment
- People with Schufa entries or low creditworthiness
May the bank also refuse customers?
Yes, for one of the following reasons the bank may refuse customers:
- You already have an account with another credit institution.
- You have committed a criminal offence against the bank.
- There is still a payment default from a previous contract.
Germany’s largest banks, which also operate internationally, z.B. Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank, want to continue to decide on an account opening on a case-by-case basis. Especially the account opening for refugees is seen as problematic. The reason for this is that the banks have to comply with the Money Laundering Act and therefore have to identify each person unambiguously. They need official identification papers for this and not just a registration certificate. If banks violate the Money Laundering Act, they face heavy fines from the U.S. authorities, which costs the banks more than violations of the Payment Account Act.
What services are included?
- Receipt of payments
- Making bank transfers with the bank card
- Depositing cash in branches
- Setting up standing orders
Since it is a credit-based account, which can not be overdrawn, no overdraft facility is granted.
How much is the basic account?
The law requires that fees be reasonable and in line with market rates. Rates vary considerably from bank to bank, ranging from 0 to 10 euros per month. Further down we have listed for you some basic accounts with their fees.
When is the bank allowed to terminate a basic account??
The bank may cancel your current account on a credit basis if any of the following apply:
- You have committed a crime that also has a negative impact on the bank.
- You are using the checking account for illegal purposes.
- intentionally provided false information when opening an account.
- You have not paid your fees for an extended period of time.
No income, financial difficulties and negative Schufa entries are thus excluded in principle. Likewise, the bank may not refuse to set you up because it dislikes your political, cultural or religious views. People who have not had their current account converted into a P-Konto in time and have therefore had their account terminated are experiencing particularly serious difficulties.
Open a basic account or an account for everyone
Here you can find a list of possible basic accounts including the monthly account maintenance fees. Click for more information on the respective link to the offer.
Direct banks, such as z.B. the Comdirect or ING without own branch network usually offer much better conditions. Basic accounts at branch banks, such as z.B. the Hypovereinbank, Commerzbank or Deutsche Bank, are priced between 3 and 9 euros per month. Savings banks require up to 10 € for the monthly basic fee.
|0,00 €||to the offer|
|5,90 €||to the application (PDF)|
|1,90 €||to the offer|
|6,90 €||to the application (PDF)|
|0,00 €||to the offer|
|6,90 €||to the application (PDF)|
|0,00 €||to the application|
|5,90 €||to the offer|
Account opening rejected – what now?
If you think that your account opening application has been wrongly rejected or you have not received any feedback on your opening application after 10 business days, then request an administrative procedure from the Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin). You can find the application here.
BaFin then has 1 month to review your application. If it turns out that you were wrongly denied the account opening, Bafin orders the respective bank to open the basic account.
What is your opinion on this topic?
For me, this is a reason for the abolition of cash as an official means of payment.
Because then the central bank must at birth or at the latest when the border is crossed, a free account for all people, selbstberstandlich only in the balance.
Addendum to my post from 17.12.:
I had – as announced – on 17.12. the BaFin to open a basic account. In addition still the post office bank by Mail about my step informed including. Note on the legal situation. And suddenly it went like clockwork. That means that a few days later the letters (welcome letter with new bank account, letter with the customer card, letter with the card PIN) arrived successively with me. The first letter was dated 17., just the day I had informed Postbank that now BaFin is involved. Well. without the pressure I would probably still be waiting for the account to be opened.
I immediately informed BaFin that a basic account was opened for me at Postbank after all. The conversion into a P-Konto is also already in work.
Despite all this, I have not received any reply from Postbank to my total of 3 mails. Probably because I "ONLY applied for a basic account and were thus considered too low a customer.
The tip with BaFin was worth its weight in gold and saved me a lot of frustration and time!
I find it impossible how people who are in precarious financial situations have to deal with banks that deny you a basic account to make matters worse.
For me, the misery started when my former house bank canceled my loan overnight and demanded an immediate repayment of. I earn well, but repay several tens of thousands of euros in one fell swoop. impossible. Despite the help of a debtor assistance the house bank did not let negotiate with itself. It even went so far that the bank froze the balance on my account, d. h. although I was in the plus I could neither make transfers nor withdraw money. Then the bank also obtained the garnishment of my salary. Thus, I was not spared the path to insolvency.
In the meantime I had applied for and received a new current account at the Postbank. I still have the welcome letter. "We are pleased to welcome you as a new customer at Postbank!" The joy lasted only briefly.
When I filed for insolvency with Schuldnerhilfe, I immediately had my checking account converted into a P account. The conversion took place on 17.11. The decision of the local court is dated 16 December 2009.11. Dated. The Postbank took this as a reason to terminate my account without notice.
There I sat now. In addition, my salary was transferred back to my employer because of missing bank details and is still sitting there.
The complaints department of Postbank advised me to take out a basic account. I had the application for this on 01.12. arranged directly at a post office branch. And then I waited for the delivery of the new bank documents, d. h. PIN, account number./BLZ and customer card. Actually, an account should be opened within 10 business days, but nothing happened. Therefore I wrote a mail to the Postbank. No reaction.
To make a long story short:
After now 14 past business days I still have not received any documents and my – meanwhile – two mails were not answered until today resp. one ignores them!!
I am pissed off! Am I worth less as an applicant for a basic account? Do I have to be treated as a second-class customer? Are we living in Taka-Tuka-Land or in Germany???
I have now sent an application to the BaFin and hope that this can be forced to open an account with Postbank.
"For this reason, since 19.06.2016 all people legally residing in the European Union open an Everyman account (basic account) at a bank. This right arises from § 31 Payment Accounts Act (ZKG), which implements the EU Payment Accounts Directive of 2015."
My brother-in-law was denied an account opening at DKB as well as at Noris Bank. Interesting report, will complain.
I received a new bank document on 28.1 the insolvency proceedings opened, on 4.2 has me the O2 bank with the Fidor works thereupon my account canceled to the 30.4. I tried to open an account at Ing, Commerzbank and they all refuse me now . I know no way out more. In addition, even after the garnishment amount still come over 1200 € salary on the account . But now I do not know what to do. Can anyone tell me which bank takes one now?
The Ing Diba is nevertheless no German bank but a Dutch bank. It therefore does not feel obliged to grant an account to German citizens, i.e. foreigners or non-Dutch citizens.
The parent company of ING-DiBa is the Dutch ING Groep is. However, as a subsidiary ING Germany is a German bank with German deposit insurance and therefore also legally obliged to provide a basic account.
Hello, I see only now the comments, then I could have saved me 1 hour of time, namely with the online opening at the ING-DiBa. I was now just so angry that I directly wrote a letter of complaint with references sent by mail. Am curious what happens, probably nothing. I could also write books like you, about the experience with account opening. I find gerde people who are disadvantaged, by unemployment and illness should get free accounts, AND ZWAR without inquiring. This has nothing to do with the law of human dignity or? For years I am upset about it.
Only, how, so where, which address, do I file a complaint with BaFin? So an administrative procedure? I ask for help. Thank you very much. Your Sylvie
It goes much worse as far as ING is concerned.
I have had a joint account there with my wife for 4 years. Now we each want to have our own account again. I draw pension in a decent amount and have a Schufa score of 94%.
I should simply open my own account I was told. And after three days a refusal comes. Of course without reason, because there is no reason. On the contrary, I would actually be a model customer.
I can only say – hands off the ING, there are enough alternatives. A vote with the feet has always done something.
Against groundless account refusal, there is a claim for opening according to the GWB Cartel Act (compulsory conclusion) and damages according to the AGG Act! In other words: The rejected or kicked out person can sue the bank for a) opening of an account and b) for damages. – Further help is given by the lawyers.
Even the Postbank rejects was in custody but not because of any financial offenses have had at the Postbank before a good account and dissolved itself, wanted to open a new, rejection it is nice that you have here this forum but a hefty paragraph would help me more then the banks get a juicy mail because testing 4-5 weeks whether the bank may reject it goes badly one has expenses such as rent, etc. what brings me then the account if I sit on the street because I’m in arrears with the rent and my AG can not even times the money cash bring by
I was cancelled everything by the savings bank because of company insolvency and given a deadline of 5 days for settlement. After 30 years of being a customer in this house, it was not possible to get an appointment with the responsible persons for a constructive solution discussion. Thanks to their Schufa entry, it is not possible for me to open a credit account at any bank, despite my German citizenship and German residence and regular income. I find the machinations of the German banks currently more than borderline, they have at the time the current accounts at zero cost flogged so that all switch to online banking so that the banks can save staff and costs, today for cost reasons account openings to people with less money downright prevented because you can no longer earn money on it, or nothing there is what you can talk off with clever brainwashing for dubious investment deals. Even the payment of child benefit has been refused for one and a half years, law and justice do not interest this bank in any way. Banks are highly criminal and even the legislator does not create a handhold against it, perhaps also because the state itself is too deep in the chalk?? A very questionable development, I rely on cash as often as possible, we can not let us take away otherwise the normal citizens are lost and betrayed.
It happened to me in exactly the same way. I was a customer of VB for 40 years, even got the certificate, was also a member for a long time. Never had any problems so far, have never been guilty of anything, etc. Then the bank had suddenly accepted the first time an account garnishment due to a pamphlet and I became pissed off. The garnishment came from the customs office, without signature, no file number, not told what for in the amount of 136.00 euros. Then I told the bank they were criminal to accept such things. They had closed the entire account because of this sum of 136.00. I asked what the garnishment was for, to which the smug answer: I don’t know and we don’t have to check that, wr only have to carry it out. Thereupon I became pissed off and wrote them a nasty letter that they do not fit, then came immediately the cancellation.
Now I have reported the matter to BaFin, let’s see what comes now. The bank had no reason to cancel the account, because they acted criminally.
I am also of the opinion, the banks are partly so arrogant and do not know actually at all more, what they do.
I was a loyal customer of VB for over 40 years, even a member for years, and I had my account canceled overnight just because I had sharply criticized them for having an account garnishment based on a pamphlet. he seizure came from the customs office, without signature, without file number, without indication for what. The bank has simply accepted this.
Such things do not work of course. I had told them that these were already criminal acts and they dismissed me. Then I wanted to have a basic account and I should re-legitimize myself. I have duly done that, with an internationally recognized passport of the Free State of Prussia, since I have resumed my old citizenship and am no longer stateless with the identity card or passport of the FRG.
That was rejected and simply claimed, the ID they not valid although even FRG courts recognize this ID and have declared valid.
Now I am without an account.
I, too, was rejected by the ing diba. Situation- after 8 years abroad and German citizenship I was denied access to a basic account. Without justification.
remove ING-DIBA from the list!
also i did not get an account at ING-DIBA!
I have approx. lived abroad for 8 years, and had no account in germany during this period either. now i am back, i have an employment contract that starts on 01.10. begins, am german citizen and do not get account.
the reason is: "professional situation and indefinite monthly income" and "many years of experience in the credit business".
the complaints to the responsible places go out the days also!
Ing Diba, only because of my bad Schufa (because of insolvency which is already done) she does not give me an account!
I also received a letter today that after careful investigation they have come to the conclusion that they do not want to do business with me.
I have applied for a basic account. But at Subject is, application and opening of a Postbank Privatgirokonto.
Now you can of course understand how you want.
I ask you to use the Ing.Diba from the above list to remove, because they are also in the case of negative Schufaauskunft (but none of the o.g. culpable reasons or misconduct towards banks) refuses the basic account contrary to the legal regulation.
If it is as you write would be clearly illegal. Please contact the ombudsman in this case at bankenombudsmann.en. Describe your case there and ask for support. The ING may not reject your application if the above reasons do not apply.
I have now been cancelled by two banks within 8 months according to their T&Cs. Reasons are called as often as one also inquires none.
In the first case ( Hypovereinsbank since 20 years customer) also all my business partners who received regular payments from me or transferred money to me all were cancelled ( 8 persons and companies)
The second bank ( POSTBANK there for 27 years) has also canceled without any reason and refer to your terms and conditions.
The background I can only guess, but I am sure that it is related to the investigations of a Bavarian criminal investigator who since 2014 does not let go of an alleged forgery of documents to pursue.
I have no criminal record, no debts and no one has any claims against me.
But because of a criminal official I lose one bank account after another. For he keeps accessing my accounts. Which I don’t care about, because the tax office and the policeman won’t find anything, because I’ve been conducting my business absolutely respectably for 27 years.
Only, because of the constant change of my bank accounts, I am now in serious danger of no longer being able to do business.
Only nowhere I can sue or do something against this arbitrariness
Wait a minute ! The issue here is that banks refuse accounts to refugees unless they can produce official identification documents. Why don’t you go to the bank as a German and not show them your identity card?. Then you will not get an account.
A registration certificate is based solely on the information provided by the person who entered the country. He can also have told one of the horse. It is right that especially the Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank act this way.
I didn’t get an Everyman account either – without justification.
Although I don’t have any other account and I don’t have any outstanding debts with a bank.
Cool report! Really sad and shameful what is going on in Germany. The rich get their rosette fondled and the poor get their leg pissed on. You are only worth something if you are who you are, being human is not enough. Unfortunately, this is the case in many areas. For me, banks and politicians are mafiosi anyway.
I bank – you nothing. The banks let refugees simply step away. For this they use a trick. The identity documents presented are simply not recognized. And some Bafin-wipe is shown there with which obviously every law passed by the Bundestag can be declared invalid on the spot. That simply does not apply then.
Every compliance aunt in the branch decides this for herself.
It’s like the customs officer at the border deciding whether or not to recognize your passport. Banks degrade identity papers issued by official foreigners authorities and registration offices simply to toilet paper and that’s that. The arrogance of the financial sector is becoming more and more grotesque. And the legislator looks on. I bank – you nothing.
The banks’ commitment to the Everyman account was not even remotely worth the paper it was agreed on. Deutsche Bank, for example. without further information rigorously refused to set up such an account. When I was told that there was a voluntary commitment by the banks, I was told with a smile that their branch did not participate and that they do not care what the head office does. I would also have to leave the branch immediately, because from now on I would be banned from the premises and if I refused, I would be led out of the building with the help of the police. When I later re-entered the branch with a witness, I was told the same thing including the request to leave the branch now as it was only for its customers – and I was not and would not become one. Only from the house ban and the police threat was in the presence of my witness no more speech.
And nothing will change with the new law, because the fees will simply be set so high that interested parties will voluntarily refrain from opening an account.
By the way, some banks are charging chargeback fees again for accounts they set up for Hartz IV recipients, even though they are prohibited by law. Who complains about it, simply receives the notice of the bank account.
With such arbitrariness on the part of the banks, which rise above the law and recognize court decisions as little as a piece of chewing gum stuck under the table, good intentions alone have neither meaning nor purpose. A law that allows banks to operate without sanctions is as effective as a snowflake in a blast furnace to cool the embers.