Advices

ADVICE #109

How to choose a Bank in Germany?

The banking system of Germany is complex and diverse. There are several types of banks: "savings banks" (Sparkassen) and cooperative banks (Genossenschaftsbanken) and commercial banks (Commerzbanken). In each category of banks they distinguish the organization of the whole country (Grossbanken), regional banks (Regionalbanken) and "direct banks" (Direktbanken) - banks with a minimum number of branches and the most convenient service via the Internet and telephone. There are also several types of specialized banks, such as mortgages or created to Finance municipal projects.

In addition, in Germany presents the branches of many foreign and international banks. To the group of the largest commercial banks in Germany are Deutsche Bank, Commerzbank, HVB and Postbank. Only they have the number of branches in excess of 1000, with a Postbank customer service occurs at the post office.

The annual cost of servicing accounts in German banks ranges from zero to a few Euro per month, but the "free" accounts does not happen: the Bank will eventually collect a certain amount per year on paid transactions, the interest rate for the overdraft, card issuing or will save on the interest payments on the deposit.

Another option: the free account only with turnover above a certain level, otherwise you will be charged (and often higher than on a normal "paid accounts"). Therefore, if we exclude the obviously disadvantageous options, the main criterion in choosing a Bank can be a proximity or the prevalence of outlets, the convenience of Internet banking and the various types of bonuses cash back, shopping discounts, etc.

In addition, if the client intends in the future to take a mortgage loan, the current account should be opened in the Bank that will issue credit. The history of the client, showing that the account is sufficient to pay the funds, will be a very positive factor in the decision to grant credit.

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