A promise is a promise. This also applies to the Sparkasse Ulm – noted the district court on Monday clear. The Institute was his former generosity proved fatal: In the so-called Scala savings contracts it had promised its customers bonus interest rates of up to 3.5 percent
The. had become too expensive to Swabia in the low interest rates. Your customers love was suddenly gone. In order to save their own skin, she urged customers and even their own employees in the high-yield savings schemes. The Management Board boldly claimed to have a right of termination.
The outrage was great. The Consumer Baden-Württemberg and the lawyer Christoph Lang complained that the fourth Civil Chamber of the District Court of Ulm’s response was to the customer unfriendly behavior of the Institute apart. Your rating: Sparkasse Ulm has no right to give notice and must adhere to their promise of interest
The case has attracted nationwide attention.. The otherwise flawless image of savings banks has suffered some cracks. Are the institutions with the red “S” but otherwise as rock solid and reliable. The German Savings Banks and Giro Association (DSGV) one is according unhappy about the development in Ulm, finally heard contractual compliance from the perspective of DSGv “the brand essence of the savings banks.”
The Sparkasse Ulm will consider the first instance judgment and then decide whether and how to continue the preceding, a spokesman for the money home. The aim is further to find a “reasonable solution” with their customers.
Long fixed interest
Beginning had it all 20 years ago. The Ulm Savings Bank sat on a high-yield savings contract, in which they promised to their customers, in addition to the current interest rate to pay a bonus like a staircase increased every year and was able to rise to 3.5 percent.
The term was 25 years. In addition, customers were able to increase the monthly rates of up to 2500 euros, anytime deduct any sums suspend savings rates or terminate the contract. Freedom that exploiting many customers. Some paid long only 50 euros per month, in the low interest rates they increased their remittances then clear up.
What was heavenly to customers, was for the Institute for hell. Back in 2005, stopped Savings Bank chief Manfred Easter selling the product. Until then, his institute had already completed 22,000 Scala contracts. But then Easter was forced to turn the ongoing customer contracts. The unpredictable interest burden threatened to become dangerous to the Institute.
Since the sovereign debt crisis rages and the head of the European Central Bank, Mario Draghi, the markets flooded with cheap money, crumbling the business model of savings banks. For the so-called net interest income makes up more than two-thirds of their total income.
The Ulmer are hit particularly hard with their Scala contracts. Easter hoped for the understanding of its customers. And much of it could actually entice with alternative offerings from the contracts. They feared most, otherwise to be worse in the end.
4000 customers could not get her down
However, about 4000 customers did not deter this, they resisted. They were threatened with dismissal therefore the savings bank. Lawyer Christoph Lang and the Consumer Association Baden-Württemberg then subjected to two separate procedures for savers in court. Individual customers complained.
In the dispute with the consumer protection Sparkasse Ulm had already turned in. She announced not to rely on a contractual right of termination. Even with individual depositors, the Bank had agreed out of court.
Now it came to the question of whether the Bank may terminate the contract due to the now much lower interest rates , No, the court said. Also, according to the legal provisions for loan contract there is no right of termination.
The district court forbade the Sparkasse Ulm addition, the monthly savings rate of Scala contracts at current levels freeze. The customer had – as once shown in the advertising flyer – the right at any time to increase the monthly savings rate up to 2500 € or lower up to 25 euros, told the court
The financial crisis and the subsequent low interest rate policy of the European Central Bank to make sure, not only the Sparkasse Ulm to create. Also, life insurance companies and building societies are struggling with the promise of the past -. With varying degrees of success
Building Societies may, however, contracts terminate
While life insurers are still bound to the warranties of up to four percent of the 90′s, building societies have legislators announce on their side and may Customers who their savings contracts from the high-yield time already saved.
Many building societies have therefore begun to expensive to get rid of existing customers. Among the terminating party private building societies as well as building societies (LBS). And of the seven institutes that have so far expressed no termination want to swing two more this year on the new line and send corresponding terminations.