The Federal Court confirmed: Handling fees are inadmissible for commercial loan agreements too
> July 2017

As early as in May 2014, the German Federal Court decided that handling fees for consumer Logan agreements were inadmissible. According to the principles of lending regulations, a handling fee might only exist in maturity based interests. According to the court, an additional fee not being based on maturity may only be considered if the bank performs genuine extra services.

Providing the money, processing the loan application, credit screening, collecting the customer’s requirements and data, contract negotiations, submitting the offer, or advising the customer are under no circumstances extra services that would justify a separate fee.

Ever since the court judgements in May 2014, there have been disputes whether this would apply on commercial loans too. Several Higher Regional Courts have been expressing a variety of opinions.

The Federal Court was to decide on 4 July 2017 and stated the following: neither for private customers nor to business people do banks perform extra services that require extra fees. Business people do not have other interests than consumers. This is why business people may reclaim handling fees in so far the refund claim has not expired.