After only five months, Check24 will shut down its website to compare current account fees free of charge. Consumer advocates sued against the non-commercial offer.
From Notker Blechner, tagesschau.de
The comparison portal Chech24 will no longer offer a free comparison of current account fees. The background is a lawsuit brought by the Federation of German Consumer Organizations (vzbv) against the offer.
The re, consumers were able to compare 19 different cost items in their current account – from account fees and the amount of overdraft interest to credit card fees. Check24 listed the conditions of all large private banks, most savings banks and Volks- and Raiffeisenbanken as well as online banks.
Doesn’t the comparison cover the entire market?
The comparison of accounts only covers 613 out of a total of more than 1,700 banks in Germany. In addition, in over 90 percent of the cases, only one current account model of the respective financial institution was analyzed. Most banks have different account models.
In the opinion of consumer advocates, the comparison website did not meet the requirements of the European Payment Accounts Directive because it did not cover the market. Consumers could be lured into wrong business deals on the basis of a non-transparent comparison. The vzbv therefore moved to the Munich Regional Court and sued Check24.
Check24 refers to certification by the TÜV
The current account comparison was certified by TÜV Saarland. Check24 boss Christoph Röttele assured that the criteria that were defined by the legislator and certified by TÜV were implemented exactly. His company has invested a seven-figure amount in an offer that does not make money.
Now Check24 has drawn the conclusions from the dispute with consumer advocates. Due to the unclear legal situation, the platform operator has switched off the comparison website.
This means that there will no longer be a non-commercial comparison website for checking accounts in the future. Smaller comparison platforms such as FMH, Biallo or Tagesgeldvergleich.net have waived to be certified.
In future only a commercial comparison of accounts
In the future, Check24 will only offer a non-certified commercial account comparison on its website. Providers pay commissions when consumers conclude contracts with them via the portal. That is the Check24 business model.
It is controversial how objective such a comparison portal can be. Check24 has recently been involved in the banking business itself. The C24 Bank was launched in October. It offers a bank account and an app.