Commerzbank customer experiences

45 posts in this topic

Hi All,

 

A bit of a newbie-type question, but I'll ask anyway as I can't seem to find any posts when shoving "Commerzbank" into the search box. :)

 

I sent Commerzbank a mail to ask about what I'd need to open an account there, having no German address yet, and it seemed straightforward enough. However, my wife preferrs Sparkasse, as her family has used them for years. Is there any advantage to using one of the "big three", or something like Volksbank? Basically I want giro account and a decent savings account, all accessible online, and preferably free.

 

I know, it's all subjective, but as I want to go and open an account next week, any user experience stories would be most welcome! The less I have to think about it, the more I can concentrate on finding a place to live next week too. :)

 

Thanks

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There is no such thing as "free" banking.

Some banks offer no charges if you dposit a certain ammount of money with them reguarly (pay check).

 

Some people like Commerzbank, it is is probably the trendiest of the German commercial banks.

Sparkasse is a different philosophy. It's a local public bank. Not sexy. But not making profit for some corporation either.

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Well, yeah. It's the same here in Ireland. As long as I carry out a certain number of online transactios per quarter I get "free" banking from Bank of Ireland. That's fine as I'm initially looking for an account for my pay check to go into.

 

I'm not so much interested in trendiness, but more the level of service, accessibility and interest on savings (and looking ahead, good options mortgages and the like).

 

Thanks though, my wife would certainly prefer not to be "paying the man" so to speak. She says all the big banks are sharks :D

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Most ATMs in Germany: Sparkasse.

Most local branches: Sparkasse.

 

They offer all the funds, investment stuff etc etc same as any other bank.

They aren't so hot on thinking outside of the box, particuarly internationally.

 

High interest for your savings?

Put yoour savings elsewhere, not in a standard account with a standard bank.

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Cool. How is their online banking in terms of functionality? I assume the usual stuff for setting up payments/bills, viewing accounts like credit cards and all that? Can you also set up transfers to international accounts online?

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Keep in mind: Sparkasse will charge you a monthly fee even if you deposit a certain amount. I really wouldn't recommend Sparkasse for anyone who receives a Salary.

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I don't do online banking but they have it.

You can use them as one stop shopping financial services.

I have my house insurance, a pension, a saving scheme etc etc with them.

but you can also get better deals on some stuff elsewhere.

I have a credit card from anther bank for example.

 

If you have a salary you can get a "free" current account elsewhere as Firelane said.

But it seems your German (?) wife is well into the Sparkasse thing.

They keep the local economy moving and they are part of the community.

 

I'd go with them.

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The individual Sparkassen are run independently, and, though you can use ATMs throughout the country with great ease, you can't just walk into a branch of another Sparkasse and get service. If you move to another city in Germany, you will likely need to close your account and open a new one at the local Sparkasse. Also, some Sparkassen are experienced in dealing with the needs of expats, while others are less able to do so. It really depends.

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It's true that if you are a München Sparkasse customer you can't go and (say) change the details of your pension plan at a branch in Berlin.

But how often do you need to go into a bank branch anyway? I think I've been once or twice in the last year.

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Not that often, you're right, if you use online banking and statements.

Sparkassen have by far the best domestic ATM network, which is a big plus.

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Online banking? No thanks.

 

If I want to make an out of the ordinary transfer I haven't got s standing order or a direct debit for I just drop in one of the service centres of the Sparkasse that are all over the place.

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I dunno, I've been using online/phone banking almost exclusively for the past five years, and it suits me fine not to have to take time out to walk into a branch. I've only had to do that when I've received cheques or had to open/change an account (very rarely). Unless branch opening times are more customer-friendly than banks in Ireland, I'd prefer to keep doing my transactions online where possible.

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Banking hours aren't any better here than I guess they are in Ireland but there is no need to go during banking hours more than a couple of times a year say and then the sparkasse in Munich is open late thursdays so you can go after work or go lunchtimes becasue they have branches everywhere. If I need to say pay a one off bill or collect statements etc I drop into one of the service booths at one of the major stations on the way home from work for example. It's not a case of having to go out of your way to do something.

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I don't have any big complaints with Commerzbank, only choose them because they are close to my work. Was a bit surprised that I had to make an appointment and then come back to open my account.

 

The cash group of ATM's which Commerzbank is a part of is pretty wide spread.

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DON'T BANK WITH COMMERZBANK!!! They lost my travellers cheques & then refused to pay up for 2 months!

 

I paid in a number of travellers cheques into my newly-opened account with them, expecting these to be cashed immediately. This was not however the case. Two weeks later I went into the branch to withdraw some money; I was not allowed and was told the travellers cheques were being verified and that they did not know how long it would take. Four weeks after I had put them into the account I enquired again and was told they were still being checked, and still no one had any idea how long this would take. On the fifth week I went to ask about them again; at this point I was told I needed to bring the receipt I had been given when I had put the cheques into the account; I gave them this and then I was told that no one knew where the travellers cheques were, perhaps they were in England but it was not certain, and again my request to withdraw money was refused.

4 days later I went in again and was told that the travellers cheques had gone missing in the post and that I would now have to wait for new ones to be issued in their place, and only once these were verified would the money be transferred into my account. Upon asking how long this process would take, I was not given a definite answer; but once again I was told that ‘it will take some time’. Eventually upon asking to speak to the manager I managed to pry my money out of the bank, though they insisted it would have to come out of the overdraft, and 2 weeks later they still haven't told me whether or not they've sorted the mess out, tho they told me they would. I have now moved bank!

 

Moral of the story-- don't bank with Commerzbank!!!

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We paid in a dividend check a few weeks back, admittedly it was about 9 months old but it was from Standard Life so assumed no problem.

 

Checked our balance a week later and not only had they deducted the original sum we paid in but added a handling fee on top from the Commerzbank and the Bank used by Standard Life!!

 

When we contacted them to ask what had happened, our very friendly "Private Banking Berater" told us to get in touch with Standard Life to sort it out. What a helpful little tosser.

 

Oh, and the account service they offer if you choose to move to them from another bank was nothing short of totally incompetent and had us receiving endless threatening letters from companies wanting payment after our standing orders had been cancelled and not restarted by Commerzbank.

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I was with Dresdner and they've been taken over my Commerbank. A friend of mine with a Dutch bank account "wanted" to repay a loan, and the IBAN/BIC transfer bounced back. Here is his explanation.

 

 

talked to my banking assistant this morning - your bank is to blame, they are not accepting sepa (again: just one of the many ways of transferring money via iban/bic) transactions from the netherlands at all! will initiate the transfer manually, meaning by sending a fax this afternoon. apparently your bank is notorious about things like that.

Regarding Zabby's post, normally you get cash for traveler's cheques. They don't have to clear like a normal cheque. They should back credit the amount to the day you payed the cheques in, and not charge you overdraft interest. Since the cheques are guaranteed by Amex, or Visa they don't have to clear.

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We opened a bank account with Commerzbank around 2 years before moving to Germany. We thought they were very good and supportive with all our bank transactions. Then once made the move permanently to Germany, instead of charging an annual banking fee which was totally acceptable, they started charging monthly and our banking fees went through the roof although our account was always in credit. I then started to look around and realised there were other more cost effective banks in the German market and moved our accounts. With Commerzbank and our new bank, online banking has been very easy and reliable.

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