I have had an account with the Santander in Spain for six years. I pay my mortgage through them, and up until two days ago I never had to pay any bank charges. Then, as if by magic €86 was deducted from my account, which actually left me short on the mortgage payment for this month. There was no explanation for this apart from, liquidacion or settlement, in English.
I went into the bank in Fuengirola to ask for an explanation, and helpful girl told me I should check at my bank in Calypso, as that was my branch. I asked if she could e mail them, to which she replied: yes, but they may not answer .... great .. nothing new there then. I went to Calypso, where another bank assistant, who incidentally was very nice, but told me the alarming news that the charge was for maintenance and administration of my account. I told her I had never paid previously as i have a mortgage with them, so I was informed that all finished in June, 2011, and now, unless you have a pension paid in, your salary paid in, mortgage paid in or have a balance at the end of each month of at least €500, you will be subject to bank charges. (2 of these things you must have each month).
As I no longer have a salary and have to rely on money being paid in from my family´s account in UK, although I pay my mortgage which is with them, I no longer qualify for free banking. As if this wasn´t bad enough, the 86 euro charge is for just 6 months. So in other words, in a time of continuing struggle in Spain, I also now have to find 170 euros per year for the pleasure of having a bank account.
Is this legal??? I didn´t even receive a letter telling me they would take this out, and if i had not checked my account online, and it had gone another three days overdrawn (because they deducted the unexpected amount of 86 euros) they would have also charged me 30 euros for being overdrawn.
Disgusting behaviour by one of the biggest banks in Europe .. your views would be very much appreciated.