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Banks forced to tell customers about risks

DPA/The Local · 14 Feb 2010, 16:39

Published: 14 Feb 2010 16:39 GMT+01:00

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According to a report in daily Der Tagesspiegel, most of the country’s banks are distributing – or planning to distribute – such information packs, after being ordered to do so by Consumer Minister Ilse Aigner.

Prompted by two years of bank collapses and bailouts around the world, along with fears that consumers are not always fully informed about what is happening to their money, Aigner has now told the banks she was losing patience and was poised to use the law if necessary.

“The minister’s patience is not endless,” warned her spokesman, Holger Eichele.

Aigner’s department is also drafting its own banking product information pamphlet, Der Tagesspiegel reported.

Postbank will give a pack to its 500,000 depositors in the summer, a spokesman told the paper.

Hypo-Vereinsbank was preparing “a package of measures that will go beyond the spectrum of a pure product information leaflet,” according to a statement. It planned to introduce this package in the spring.

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The Sparkasse banks were aiming for a co-ordination of their existing information pamphlets to meet the governments requirements, said spokesman Stefan Marotzke.

ING Diba introduced such an “information pack” last September, while Deutsche Bank has been distributing a similar leaflet for several weeks.

DPA/The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

21:35 February 14, 2010 by pepsionice
I spent fifteen years in Germany and have to admit that the amount of financial knowledge that the average German has.....is half of what you'd find in the US. From my entire village of 3,000 folks....I doubt if thirty people actually do any investing in the town at all....and of those thirty....probably the vast majority pay some guy at the local bank to handle their investing for them.

If you speak to the typical German.....other than savings and CD accounts....that's the vast nature of their investing knowledge. They are all happy with 3 percent gains on their CD's.

So giving out a vast amount of knowledge to the public.....is just going to confuse matters more...in my humble opinion.
11:39 February 15, 2010 by Talonx
I don't know about your claim, seems like you came from a big city to a small village or don't keep the same sort of friends in Germany. I have the reverse experience, coming from a small steel town of about 10,000 in the U.S. to Berlin and now München, I have generally had the experience that more people play the market and know what's up.

I think this is rather a rural-urban difference than a U.S.-Germany difference.
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