VIENNA, Austria – September 6, 2018 – BAWAG P.S.K. offers new and existing customers for the first time a free overdraft facility of
€ 500 with 0% interest, making our customers’ financial lives easier. “This allows customers who are faced with a financial bottleneck and have to overdraw their account to better meet their day-to-day financial challenges – such as the current example of the start of the new school year,” explained Markus Gremmel, Head of Division “Marketing and Products” at BAWAG P.S.K.
40% use their overdraft facility on their current account
For many Austrians, the overdraft facility on their bank account has become an indispensable part of their financial life. According to the Retail Banking Report (H1 2018), four out of ten Austrians use the overdraft facility on their account – usage of overdraft facilities breaks down nearly equally between men and women across all social classes and income groups, with the highest usage among respondents between the ages of 25 and 59. “The benefits are obvious: Money is immediately available, there are no processing costs in place and automatic coverage as soon as the next salary arrives in the account”, Gremmel explained.
The majority of customers do not do this voluntarily, according to a study by BAWAG P.S.K.: Roughly 30% of the respondents see their financial situation as strained, which means that spending has to be restricted and bigger expenses have to be budgeted – and that customers also have to overdraw their account at times. Along with financial stress factors such as divorce, housing, and job loss, expenses associated with children play a major role: This includes the costs for tutoring, the beginning of a new school year, or entering university – especially now in the fall.
New overdraft facility: Around 30% leeway for average earners
Those who cannot fall back on savings in these situations or finance these expenses with their regular income end up overdrawing their accounts sometimes. In Austria, the average gross monthly income (paid out 14 times per year) is € 2,268 –, which leaves a net income of just over € 1,600 in a normal month without special payments. Gremmel rejects the commonly held idea that people primarily incur debt in order to live beyond their means: “When people overdraw their account, it’s usually for pragmatic reasons that have nothing to do with brash spending sprees. Thanks to the financial buffer of € 500, average earners have 30% leeway – related to their
net salary – on their account starting immediately.”
The promotion period is valid until October 31, 2018. If interested, parties open a new account as a salary or pension account by then or activate the financial buffer for their existing account box (since November 1,.2008), customers will benefit from € 500 leeway in the account for 24 months and pay no interest on this amount. Prerequisite for this is a positive credit check.
Manfred Rapolter (Head of Communications, Spokesperson)
Tel: +43 (0) 5 99 05-31210
Henriette Mußnig (Press Officer)
Tel: +43 (0) 5 99 05-32086