While many direct banks have been trying for months to win new customers with rising interest rates, millions of savers at savings banks and regional banks are not yet benefiting from the interest rate turnaround.

For months now, banks have been vying for savings with more attractive interest rates. The front-runners in the overnight money comparison by FOCUS online, Consorsbank and Opel Bank, already offer 2.1 percent interest per annum.

However, the vast majority of banks still do not pay any interest on credit balances on the call money account, as an analysis by the comparison portal Verivox shows. Of the 626 banks and savings banks evaluated, 397 still offered an overnight interest rate of 0.00 percent (as of January 20, 2023).

The trigger for the rise in interest rates was the latest interest rate hikes by the European Central Bank. Because interest on investment money from private customers, the banks are now partly cheaper than financing through the ECB. However, almost half a year after the first interest rate hike by the European Central Bank (ECB), call money savers are left empty-handed at around two-thirds of all banks based in Germany. “It’s a paradox – at the top of the market, banks are outdoing each other in the competition for new customers with ever higher overnight interest rates. On the other hand, many institutes still pay no interest at all,” says Oliver Maier, Managing Director of Verivox Finanzvergleich GmbH.

If you are a customer of such a zero-interest bank, you should consider opening an additional account with one of the current top providers. Because competition is increasing at the top of the market, and six banks are already offering interest rates of two percent and above.

Regional credit institutions are particularly stingy with interest rates. According to Verivox, three out of four local savings banks (74 percent) do not earn interest on overnight deposits. Things are looking a little better for the cooperative credit institutions such as the local Volks- und Raiffeisenbanken and the Sparda banks. Of the regional cooperative banks, “only” 65 percent do not pay any call money interest. On the other hand, zero interest rates are much rarer for banks with nationwide call money offerings: only 15 percent of them offer savers no interest.

In the case of the nationwide available overnight money offers, interest rates have been rising continuously for months, as the overnight money comparison by FOCUS online shows. According to Verivox, the average interest rate is currently 0.54 percent. At the beginning of August it was still 0.05 percent. The regional area lags behind this development. “Almost all financial institutions quickly abolished their negative interest rates after the ECB’s penalty interest on bank deposits was abolished,” says Oliver Maier. “So far, however, only a few regional banks have offered positive interest rates worth mentioning.” Both the local savings banks (0.05 percent) and the cooperative credit institutions (0.06 percent) have average interest rates just above zero.

If you are also one of the affected customers of a miserly bank, you should think about a change. The Opel Bank is currently making the highest-interest offer for new customers. It pays 2.1 percent on the call money and guarantees this interest rate for three months with a monthly payment. As always, you can find this and other offers in the FOCUS online call money comparison.