Premium savings contracts: BGH again strengthens consumer rights
According to a ruling by the Federal Court of Justice on October 6, 2021, savers who have concluded premium savings contracts can now demand money back.
This is how the judges in Karlsruhe ruled on the first model declaratory action brought by consumer protection groups concerning unlawful clauses on variable interest rates in many older premium savings contracts. The ruling now gives consumers a tailwind.
The contracts in question are premium savings contracts concluded mainly in the 1990s and 2000s, which contain clauses entitling the banks to adjust the interest rate largely unilaterally and freely. As a result, savers received too little interest over many years.
As early as 2004 and 2010, the Federal Supreme Court declared these interest rate adjustments invalid because they were too opaque for customers. The banks then changed the interest rate clauses – but to the detriment of consumers. As a result, the Leipzig consumer association has now taken legal action all the way to the Federal Court of Justice.
The XI Civil Senate now decided that the clauses are invalid because of a violation of § 308 No. 4 BGB, the chairman Jürgen Ellenberger became clear to the savings bank: “The sample defendant has the right to change in the manner of a lord of the manor by posting in the counter room. That is inadmissible.”
Now the question of the reference interest rate must be clarified. For the proper calculation of the interest, the lower court, the OLG Dresden should have already made precise calculation specifications, according to the BGH, which referred the case back to Dresden once again.
In the next months now thus the higher regional court must determine the reference interest rate, so that savers can calculate exactly, how much money they can still expect from the savings bank.
The specialized lawyers of the Kanzlei Schirp & partner from Berlin have due to practice of many years for more than 25 years comprehensive expertise in the bank and capital market right. As a contact person for your further proceedings, attorney Alexandra Binia, specialist attorney for banking and capital market law, and Dr. Wolfgang Schirp will be happy to answer any further questions you may have.