The main banks of the Spanish state charge an amount in commissions for holding an account that in some cases is not negligible and it could even be said that it is not very profitable for the customer, according to a study of the financial information platform Best Bank.
Banks are demanding more and more links from their clients in order to avoid commissions on their accounts
To do this, those responsible have collected information from the most contracted accounts in the main financial entities of the country, obtaining as a result amounts that in several banks are close to 300 euros per year, adding maintenance and card holding fees.
In some cases, in which a certain amount is paid for each entry (operation) that is made, the total cost in commissions can go up 100 euros more, thus putting in doubt the maintenance of the account as a profitable operation for the client.
However, the study clarifies that many of these commissions, if not all, can be canceled if the account is linked to the contracting of other services such as direct debit of payroll, use of credit cards to buy or contract home insurance, pension plans, mortgages, loans, etc.
Another alternative is to hire an account directly online from the bank’s website, which almost all entities allow and that frees us directly from commissions per account, although it does not free us from the card maintenance fee if we request one.
“On average,” says the CEO of Best Bank, Josep García, “we can generate a saving of 150 euros by switching to online accounts from the same bank, which when reinvested for a term of 20 years in a more or less conservative index fund, can generate a profit of almost 6,000 euros after those 20 years if we consider a constant annual interest of 6% during that period “.
“On the other hand,” García continues, “the savings in commissions During that period, if we were to assume that these commissions will remain constant for 20 years, it would be 3,000 euros. “To do this, it would only be enough to switch to an online account.
Those who charge the most in maintenance fees and cards
If we take into account maintenance and card fees, the least profitable is the classic Caixabank current account, which includes maintenance and cards, he charges us 290 euros annually in commissions. In addition, to add insult to injury, the entity does not report how to cancel them, which suggests that there are no alternatives.
It is followed by the One account of the Santander bank, which charges 240 euros, although it does not charge for card holding and the commissions can be eliminated by direct debiting the payroll or receipts and making payments with the card.
For its part, BBVA charges 100 euros in maintenance fees, which become 135 if we ask for a debit card and 143 if we ask for a credit card. A similar system is used by Bankinter, Cajamar, Liberbank, Ibercaja and Kutxabank.
On the other hand, BBVA also applies the system of charging for the notes (operations), which depending on what we do each month, can raise the amount of annual commissions up to 100 euros more. The same system is used by Ibercaja, Liberbank and Bankia.
Those who charge the most for operating commissions
Once again, Caixabank stands out in operating commissions, charging 2 euros for each transfer made from the branch, just like Sabadell, although Ibercaja charges the most: 3.5 euros for going to the branch to make a transfer.
“It is surprising to see that with the Ibercaja account you will have a commission of 2.62 euros for the transfers that you make yourself from your online banking, something that draws attention, since the rest of the banks do not charge for this”, explains Josep Garcia. Regarding check deposit, Ibercaja charges from 3 to 20 euros to carry out the operation, while the average commission is from 0 euros to 0.30 euros. ”
Finally, for staying with a negative balance we will have to pay a commission. Banks on average they charge a minimum of 14 euros. To this must be added an interest on the negative balance; Each entity marks the APR based on the legal interest of the money, but by law this may not exceed 2.5 times this legal interest of the money.
Now, the most curious thing is what they charge us for “communicating” the overdraft. This commission is not small: on average it will mean 35 euros while in the One account of Santander it rises to 49 euros. Kutxabank, on the other hand, is the only entity of those analyzed that does not charge for this.
In the future: will you have to pay for bills online?
Begoña Vicente, expert in new banking forms, explains that with the costs of the commissions we amortize the investment in the structure of the physical banking: “if you need to be able to go to the branch and speak with your manager, you need a physical account, but this has conditions, because it supports commercial network structure expenses : offices, personnel, technology, diverse machinery, databases, security personnel, etc “.
In online banking there are no such costs, and for the moment there will not be, but Vicente questions the long-term validity of the Best Bank study because “the issue of not paying commissions on online accounts is going to be short-lived, because network maintenance is expensive.”
“In the long run, as soon as you have to ask your bank for something else you will have to pay commissions, in a model such as that of low cost flights “, explains the expert.” In fact, neobanks work like a subscription to spotify, with fees for closed operations packages: you pay a fixed commission as if it were a subscription fee. ”
Begoña Vicente ends by recalling that after the European Union threatened to fine Spain for non-compliance with the directive against bank exclusion in 2019, the Government approved a Decree-Law with which any bank is guaranteed to offer a free account for vulnerable groups, and a maximum monthly commission of 3 euros is marked for the rest when opening one of these basic accounts. “Of course, you will not have to have a checking account with any other bank to be able to access it,” Vicente adds.
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