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Commissions are the great enemies of the client when he decides to open a bank account. The usual thing on these occasions is to do it after consulting the opening conditions to ensure that you pay as little as possible in that concept (or even nothing). However, with the passage of time it is very difficult to achieve it.

In fact, banks have the power to change the conditions of the account in certain cases and thus introduce commissions. This does not have to happen due to a breach of what was agreed in the opening contract: there is the possibility that, after a while, they decide to change these conditions and interpose, under the established channels, commissions to clients.

The Bank of Spain explains that the simplest case, at least in terms of its operation, is that of the breach of contract. This is because, when this contract is signed, the direct debit of the payroll or the acquisition of a service that is linked to the absence of commissions can be included.

For this reason, when the client fails to comply with one or more of these conditions, the bank automatically proceeds to charge the commissions that it did not previously charge when complying with the requirements that were demanded of it. There is no need to make a communication about it: the moment the client stops complying with the contract, these commissions are charged.

However, in other cases, the bank may decide, unilaterally and without a default by the customer, modify the conditions of the opening contract of the account to be able to charge commissions. The reason for this power attributed to the entities is that the signed contracts are conceived as documents without an expiration date and that, due to their presumably durable nature, they allow the bank to subsequently modify them.

In these cases, however, banks are obliged to notify the customer two months in advance. In this notice, the entity must warn of the new conditions to be able to get rid of the commissions (if possible) and the amount of the commissions if it cannot meet them.

Once this communication is made, the client must be careful not to lose it and remain exposed in case of not being able to read it. According to the Bank of Spain, the commissions can be high if, for example, they penalize the withdrawal of cash or the realization of transfers that have been made without awareness that, a posteriori, they would entail expenses.

The types of bank commissions

For the purposes of the client, there are two different types of commissions:

-On the one hand are the commissions of maintenance. They are the amounts that, on a monthly, quarterly, semi-annual or even annual basis the banks charge their clients for the maintenance of the account. Or what is the same: the money you charge for having the account open.

-On the other hand, the commissions of administration. They are usually the ones that generate the most problems, since this group includes the commissions that affect the withdrawal of money, the fees for carrying out transfers or other operations … they are the ones that are tried to avoid by contracting certain services or direct debit of payroll.


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