Illegal commission and credit cards

Illegal commission and credit cards

Nowadays, it´s hard to imagine a family unit that doesn´t have or has never had a credit card as a means of mitigating potential financial difficulties.

Nevertheless, these credit cards have given rise to numerous debates in the field of banking law and have given consumers faced with illegal commission a real headache.

In today’s blog we would like to talk about this illegal type of commission and how professionals in the legal world have been striving to strike a balance and address the issue in our courts.

You may have already recalled the March 2020 ruling in which our Supreme Court declared that all credit cards with an APR of over 20% were liable to be declared null and void due to having charged excessively high interest rates that consumers might be unable to afford.

Although we do not wish to focus on the case of revolving cards, today’s blog will deal with other types of illegal commission consumers should take into account.

Illegal commission for withdrawing cash from ATMs

It is common for banks to charge an amount of money as a commission for the withdrawal of cash from their ATMs, and this is actually legal. This commission ranges from € 3 to a maximum of 5% of the money withdrawn, and varies considerably among the different banks in Spain.

In principle, this commission is completely legal, as we have already pointed out, however banks are required to disclose and justify the reason for charging it. The fact is that they often fail to do so, thereby committing an illegal act.

Pursuant to the entry into force of Royal Decree-Law 11/2015 of 02 October, rules have been established to regulate commission charged on the withdrawal of cash from ATMs using a credit card.

Due to the aforementioned reasons, we can affirm that if the withdrawal of cash does not entail any expense, banking entities cannot legally charge such commission on this type of operation. In the event the operation involves some kind of expense, the fact must be justified in order to legally charge the respective commission, however under no circumstances whatsoever may profit be obtained at the expense of customers.

Illegal commission for the non-payment of credit card installments

Returning to the issue of the legality of revolving cards, consumers are often unable to pay some of the payments on these cards, whereupon banks automatically respond with a late payment charge of around € 50.

This amount is directly related to the purpose of obtaining considerable profit for the late payment of the card, and is in no way related to any of the bank´s management processes.

This is why the Supreme Court handed down Ruling 3315/2019 of 25 October 2019, which states that this commission is illegal if it does not refer to a real service provided to the client.

To sum up, if you have a credit card, we advise you to be extremely careful with banks and their abusive commission charges, as many of them may be illegal.

Our law firm González Sánchez & Partners can help you protect yourself against these illegal charges. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you should need our services.


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