Typically, banks, in order to gain customers, offer commission-free accounts for carrying out the most common operations, such as transfers, overdrafts or receiving SMS messages, apart from those that are applied for maintenance. It is in this type of daily operations that their competitiveness is at stake with regard to small customers, so they must offer their best face.
However, there are also other less frequent commissions that are charged and that often go unnoticed. Among the unusual operations subject to commissions are the issuance of bank checks, duplicate paper statements, cancellation of transfers, replacement of cards, currency exchange for payments outside the euro zone, issuance of certificates and modification of mortgage conditions.
The usual thing is that one does not notice them, but you can. As explained by the OCU, banks must have an "informative commission document" in which they report the existence of the same and each service subject to application.
The collection of commissions is usually reduced depending on certain requirements, generally those of having the payroll and a series of receipts domiciled, or having an associated bank card with a minimum number of movements. Sometimes they are also asked to sign an insurance, pension plan or investment product, which has generated protests from consumer associations.
The OCU has studied the less frequent commissions of each bank and the result can be seen in this table:
Are the amounts of these unknown commissions very high? Perhaps, but the banks can apply them because the law only establishes limits for a series of operations and assumptions. Among them are the early amortization of personal loans, overdrafts in accounts or the transformation of a variable mortgage into a fixed one.
However, commissions for infrequent operations are usually left to the will of the bank. The only option for the consumer is to avoid them, which can be done at least in part by resorting to alternative procedures.
There are other options. The OCU recommends, for example, opening a new more advantageous account in a noebank to carry out a specific operation. The organization cites several banks such as Rebellion Pay, Vivid Money or Revolut whose online accounts are free and without requirements and do not pass any notes for commissions such as foreign currency charges. On other occasions, he points out, it is possible to look for some type of operation or procedure that makes the service for which the commission is charged unnecessary.
When the usual bank begins to charge commissions for previously exempt services or increases the requirements to continue enjoying the exemption, the best solution is usually to look for a new entity that offers better conditions, for which there are several online account comparators, such as OCU, Kelisto, HelpMyCash, Selectra or Rastreator.