Prepayment penalties for loans – often a case for the Ombudsman

As an intermediary between bank and bank customers, ombudsmen are a frequently consulted arbitration address, especially in times of crisis. Main operation field for the highest mediation authority: credits and associated fees.

According to an interview by the Federal Association of Public Banks of Germany, VÖB, with whose ombudsman Klaus Wangard emerges, it is mainly bank customers from the credit sector who want to get rid of their worries and hardships at the highest arbitrator. Common issues are fees and surcharges, such as prepayment penalties that are often taken out in credit agreements, which some clients believe are either unnecessarily high or even unjustified.

The main task of Klaus Wangard is to be able to settle the already escalated dispute as amicably as possible in such cases. Especially when bank clients turn to him with a complaint about excessive loan charges or the desire for a reduction of the credit installments due to current financial difficulties, he has to make a goodwill decision as ombudsman, which then defends both the interests of the bank and those of the bank Customer is fair.

After the crisis year of 2009, when the Bank Ombudsman had almost 150 cases to decide, the situation seems to be slowly returning to normal. Klaus Wangard is currently looking a little more relaxed in the future: “Since this dispute settlement, the overall relationship between the bank and the customer has improved because the banks just look a little closer and the home itself is often sought a friendly solution.”

It remains to be seen for the time being whether the work of a bank ombudsman like Klaus Wangard will diminish in view of the new EU Consumer Credit Directive, which focuses on strengthening the customer’s rights.