Over the last few years, commissions have become an essential part of every banks’ strategy. On one hand, as a mechanism of ‘coercion’ for the customer to comply with more and more requirements. Direct deposit of the salary or pension. Subscribing a home insurance. Using the credit cards a certain number of times per quarter. Setting up direct debit of a minimum of three bills. On the other hand they have been key in trying to keep customers out of the banks’ physical branches. How? By imposing higher commissions to face-to-face transactions. However, courts have ruled once again in favour of consumers, declaring that some of these practices are clearly abusive. In recent months, several courts have declared the cash deposit commission to be null and void. In today’s article, we explain the content of these rulings and their effects.
COMMERCIAL COURT Nº 1 OF VITORIA
The cease and desist action brought by the consumer association EKA/ACUV is granted. Banco Santander is convicted to stop charging their cash deposits commission of €10 to third parties. The ruling, which is final, also forces the bank to remove it from their leaflet of fees, commissions and expenses.
The same court has also fully recognised a lawsuit filed against Caixabank for the same reason. Although the ruling is not final. The court concludes that it is an abusive practice and contrary to consumer and user protection regulations.
PROVINCIAL COURT OF ÁLAVA
This time the sentence affects Bankinter, although an appeal can be filed. The entity is sentenced to stop charging a cash deposit commission of €2 to people who are not the holders of the account. They also impose the bank with the payment of legal costs. And finally, they declared null and void all the charges made to date. In other words, the bank must return them to those affected by this abusive practice.
CIVIL CHAMBER OF THE SPANISH SUPREME COURT
The bank (Kutxabank) also charged a cash deposit commission of €2 to third parties. Furthermore, they also penalised each receipt paid in cash with another €2. The Supreme Court is clear: the bank must remove this clause from its general terms and conditions. It is abusive, null and void. The court insists that account holders already pay an account maintenance commission. Therefore, there is no justification for charging another commission to a third party.
For the time being, these rulings only affect the banks against which the cease and desist actions were filed. However, it is foreseeable that the rest of the Courts will issue rulings along the same lines. In any case, we will have to wait.
Can it be useful to file a complaint before the Bank of Spain? Although its rulings are not binding, yes, it is advisable. If you want to know more about complaints against banks, we recommend you read this article on the matter. Also, if you think your bank is charging you an abusive commission, at White & Baos we will study your case in detail and offer you expert advice to recover your money. Contact us.
The information provided in this article is not intended to be legal advice, it simply conveys information related to legal issues.
Carlos Baos (Lawyer)
White & Baos.
Tel: +34 966 426 185
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