Bank fees: truths and untruths

Do you think you know everything about bank fees? We’ll put you to the test. Would you know whether the following statements are true or false?

  •  “Bank fees can only be charged for a maximum amount laid down by law.”

False. With very few exceptions, there is no established limit to the amount that can be charged by credit institutions. It will depend on the agreement reached with your bank. You must therefore check carefully the bank fees established on the contracts you sign, as well as the ones informed on you bank’s website and at its branch offices.

  • “I can only be charged fees when I’ve been informed beforehand about the conditions and I’ve specifically accepted them. True.
  • Banco de España is entitled to decide whether a bank fee is considered abusive or not.”

False. Only judges and courts are entitled to do so. However, Banco de España may establish best banking practices that credit institutions must comply with regarding certain fees, so that they are charged correctly. This would be the case of past-due account notification fees.

  • Bank fees are always associated to a service provided by the bank”. True.
  • “I can only be charged with those bank fees that appear on my contract.”

False. Contracts often don’t detail every service that can be provided by the bank, which means that the corresponding bank fee also won’t specifically appear. In any case, you must be informed about the fee before it’s charged, you must specifically accept it and it must also appear on the credit institution’s website and the information must also be available from its branch offices.

  • “The bank can modify the fees I get charged freely.”

False. It will depend on what has been established on the contract you signed, but, you will generally have the right to be personally informed beforehand about such changes. If you don’t agree with the new conditions, you are entitled to cancel the contract free of charge.

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