0 Financing hurt your credit

Bochum / Frankfurt (dpa) - The vigorously growing alternative bank GLS is tightening its penalty rates for rich customers. Savers with more than 250,000 euros in their account will have to pay a fee of 0.5 percent on their credit from April 1, as the GLS announced on Wednesday in Frankfurt. That affects around 1 percent of the around 242,000 clients. GLS Bank currently only charges this fee for deposits of one million euros or more.

Bank boss Thomas Jorberg justified the expansion of the "deposit fee" with the ever-shrinking interest margin in the banking business. In the past, the borrowers would have largely paid the costs of the Bochumer Bank. That is over. "In the future, banking services will have even more of a price," said Jorberg, referring to the industry. For all GLS accounts, the bank introduced a basic contribution of 60 euros per year in 2017. This had no effect on the number of customers, said Jorberg.

More and more banks are trying to pass on costs to customers with penalty interest rates that they themselves incur as a result of the negative interest rates of the European Central Bank. If banks park money at the central bank, they have to pay 0.5 percent minus interest.

GLS Bank, which specializes in loans to environmentally friendly companies as well as sustainable and social investments, grew strongly in 2019. The operating result improved by a good 13 percent to 40.4 million euros, as it was said.

The GLS-Bank is reviewing its funds and the loans granted to see whether they will help limit global warming to 1.5 degrees by 2050. The institute sees itself as a pioneer in the industry. In the future, all banks would have to determine the climate risks of their customers, said Jorberg. The financial supervisory authority Bafin is already urging that banks, insurers and investment funds include sustainability risks more in their risk assessment.