Spanish Banks & Commissions. Do they want to earn more money or lose their customers?
Most people I speak to are complaining about the commissions they pay to banks for just transferring money, taking money out of their bank or even putting me in. I have been with Unicaja, a local bank in Andalusia, for nearly 13 years. It was all fantastic until only just recently. A new director and also some merging with other banks and in less than a year I have found myself having paid over a thousand euros in commissions. While at first I was given the promise that it was system error and that I could claim it back, it came to the point that they went back on a verbal agreement and started charging me for everything. I can’t prove a verbal agreement, but I certainly can prove that I wasn’t being charged before and that I started being charged. It is simple. The fact that I can make an electronic transfer is not of extra value to me while I am already paying a maintenance fee for my account and they are sitting on my cash pile collecting the interest and keeping it for themselves.
13 years as a client, I have been paying a higher interest rate for my mortgage, slightly higher amount than what ING would have charged me on credit card commissions along with a fair some of cash in my current and saving accounts. Obviously that was not enough so they come down hard on me with charging me more commissions. What exactly were they trying to achieve? Earn more money from me or get rid of me as a customer?
I tried to negotiate as their customer. I calculated that moving my mortgage and loan to ING Direct, I would save around three to four thousands euros per year. It is not small sum that can be ignored. Yet I was happy to stay if they would soften up and give me a better deal to stay, but no.
This is what often brings me to “What is the price of a bottle of Coke?” Well it all depends on where you buy it. The supermarket will be one price, a beach bar another price, the airport probably a bit more and you might pay top price for it in a fancy night club. Each establishment has its costs and has their prices accordingly. So as a customer you can either afford to use a particular business or not.
What I wonder here is, that Unicaja is not exactly the top brand name or a bank that offers exclusive service to HNWI. They cater for the lower end of the market so is it that they are offering a higher service that I was unaware of? Or have I lost the plot! So much said, I am not sure if this is going to be my loss or theirs. I have moved on to another bank, where I will be paying no commissions for transfers and get a much better rate for my mortgage and loan. My saving several thousands per year. Has Unicaja gained much from losing me? Maybe I was too much work for them. Adios Unicaja. It has been a pleasure working with you and I love the staff who have served me until now. I am sure that the staff didn’t really want me to go, but certainly the bank’s policies have changed so much that the staff have no say over it anymore.