The banks continue to compete for new customers with fixed and call money. But how safe is the customer’s money there in a crisis, especially with foreign institutions? We provide answers.

The deposit guarantee is intended to secure certain repayment claims for savers if you leave your money with a European bank and it gets into trouble. This means credit balances on current, daily and time deposit accounts as well as savings accounts. The clearing account of a stock account is also covered by deposit protection. Without appropriate deposit protection systems, banks are not even allowed to offer savings and credit accounts. Within the European Union, 100,000 euros per depositor and per bank are legally secured. There are even four deposit guarantee schemes in Germany:

Additional protection is provided in Germany via the voluntary deposit guarantee schemes of private banks (deposit guarantee fund of the Federal Association of German Banks, BdB) and public banks (deposit guarantee fund of the Federal Association of Public Banks in Germany, VÖB). At banks that belong to one of these deposit protection mechanisms operated under the responsibility of the financial institutions, deposits from private customers are even guaranteed beyond the legally secured 100,000 euros.

Although, according to European Union guidelines, savings should be equally safe at all banks in the euro area, it has already been shown that this is not always the case. When BaFin declared insolvency at Bremen-based Greensill Bank in March 2021, the maximum amount of compensation per investor was an impressive 75 million euros. The reason for this was that the bank was a voluntary member of the Deposit Protection Fund. If you want to be on the safe side, you are usually best advised to have an account with a German bank.

Deposits at Consorsbank, for example, are protected up to EUR 90,000,000 per investor. Private investors are currently receiving 0.60 percent interest on overnight money. At Bank11 there is currently 0.50 percent interest on overnight money, up to 32,987,000 euros per investor are secured here. With pbb direct you receive 0.25 percent on the call money, but your deposits are protected up to a sum of 503,000,000 euros.

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In countries that are rated weaker than Germany by rating agencies, investors run the risk that the capital required for deposit insurance is not always available, despite EU requirements. Especially when it comes to smaller countries with correspondingly small national budgets. In 2014, for example, investors at the Bulgarian Corpbank had to wait and hope for half a year until the compensation payments were made. For comparison: In Germany, the EdB only has seven working days to compensate customers in an emergency.

Despite or precisely because of the higher risk, many banks lure you with outrageously good conditions for fixed-term deposits. Up to 2.10 percent interest for only 12 months are currently possible, and there are new offers almost every week that outperform the old ones. If you are one of the more risk-taking investors, you will find the offers in the FOCUS Online call money comparison and the FOCUS Online fixed deposit comparison.