More and more Dutch banks are making it impossible for people to have a savings account without a regular checking account – effectively introducing monthly fees of between €2.55 and €2.95.
SNS and Regiobank customers who refuse to open a current account will have to close their savings accounts and move elsewhere, the Volkskrant reported on Wednesday.
A spokesperson for Volksbank, the parent company of SNS and Regiobank and which is 100% state-owned, said the change would allow the bank to better help customers organize their financial affairs.
Over the past year, savers have opened accounts with different banks to avoid negative interest, which banks have introduced on accounts with more than a certain level of funds. Savings have already become less attractive as most accounts earn virtually no interest.
ABN Amro and ING also plan to take action regarding customers with only savings accounts, the Volkskrant said.
ABN Amro announced last month that it was increasing its monthly current account fee from €1.95 to €2.95 per month from July. The bank, which made a net profit of 285 million euros in the first three months of the year, said the move was necessary to pay for the security of payment traffic.
The consumer association Consumentenbond estimates that bank charges for managing a current account have increased by 42% over the past five years.
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