Many times we have found ourselves reviewing our bank statements noting that we have been charged commissions for various reasons. Sometimes it is due to our account is negative and therefore the bank charges an overdraft commission. But there are many kinds of commissions, some are legal and others have been declared illegal.
WHEN BANK COMMISSIONS ARE ILLEGAL
Both the Bank of Spain thorugh its circulars and various Courts have established a kind of generic rule enabling to discern which fees are legal and which are not. The bank can charge a commission subject to the following requirements: 1) to provide a real and effective service requested by the customer and 2) the cost of the service must be performed.
OVERDRAFT COMMISSION: in most of the cases are illegal. They are supposed to be applied due to expenses that have to face the bank to notify the client when the account is negative. Overall, the bank overdraft fee applies without even notifying the debtor, which is completely irregular (the same as making the notification by phone or email , which does not generate expenses) . A different question is to charge the legal interest corresponding to the time meanwhile the account was in red figures.
MAINTENANCE COMMISSION: in principle, it would be legal, but it will depend on additional services that may have been hired. For example, if the client has only hired a mortgage, current account, in such cases the bank may not charge maintenance fee, while if requested credit cards, collection of this commission.
CASH DEPOSIT COMMISSION: has been declared illegal by the jurisprudence. The bank is not providing a service to the person who deposits cash but the owner of the account.
REJECT OF TRADE EFFECTS COMMISSION: occurs when a customer writes a check or effect and is returned because the debtor has no funds and the bank charges a percentage for notification. This commission is illegal because the bank does not provide any services added by the fact that the debtor pays the debt or not. Management and receipt issue itself is legal and therefore can not receive another percentage out of the rejection.
ADVANCED AMORTIZATION COMMISSION: occurs when the bank charges for allowing the debtor to cancel a loan before completion. They are considered legal when there are not abusive amounts. However, the Bank of Spain considers that if the loan is paid in advance because it is financed with another loan from the same bank, the latter does not suffer any harm and therefore should not charge this fee .
OPENING COMMISSION (COMMISSION OF STUDY): these fees are related to the service provided by the bank to study the situation of the client who wants to hire a mortgage loan. While it is unclear the legality or illegality of this commission, the truth is that it may be considered illegal since they do not form a customer service. While on the other hand, as the bank writes the contract, could charge opening commission (not excessive).
COMMISSION FOR TRANSFERENCE: it could be legal as the bank renders a service.
ATM CASH WITHDRAWAL: the rules state that only the entities owner of the ATM that may charge fees for the use, but these fees cannot be rebounded directly to the cardholder. It is the issuer of the card which will assume the payment of such commission and decide whether or not the fee is charged to its client. When using ATMs in other countries within the Euro zone, Regulation 924/2009 establishing applies: "the fees charged by a payment service provider to a user of these services in relation to cross-border payments will be equal to the fees charged by the supplier to the payment service user in relation to corresponding national payments of the same amount in the same currency." Therefore, the maximum fee that banks may charge their customers when they use an ATM in another country in the euro zone can not be higher than passed on by the owner of the ATM entity. In many cases, these commissions are not respected.