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"Commission for closing a bank account: the courts declared it illegal". Evgeny Karnoukhov's comment on Pravo.ru.
October 15, 2020

The client decided to close the bank account and asked to return the money remaining there. The bank took interest for this - it kept almost 5 million rubles. Then the company went to court. Three courts stood up to it. The transfer commission is a way to keep the "barrier tariffs", experts believe. In their opinion, this is how credit organizations bypass unfavorable practice. Lawyers note that the new tariffs on the balance can be successfully challenged in court. In confirmation, they provide similar disputes.

In 2018, the company "Eldom" entered into a contract with the Ural Bank for Reconstruction and Development of complex banking services. A year later the client decided to close the account. Balance - 56 million rubles - asked to be transferred to another credit institution. The bank transferred the amount, but took a commission of 10%, that is, almost 5 million rubles. Then the company sent a claim to the bank with a claim to return the missing amount. But it answered that the tariff for the transfer of the balance is approved in the contract. Having concluded it, the client actually agreed with the amount of commission. The company applied to the court in Sverdlovskiy region (case № A60-59887/2019). 

Evgeny Karnoukhov, managing partner of Alliance Legal Consulting Group, considers that the bank tried to bypass the unprofitable practice of the illegality of the 10% "barrage tariffs" by such a clever move.

The so-called "barrage tariffs" appeared with the introduction of the Law on Combating Money Laundering No. 115. The norm obliged banks to monitor customer transactions more closely and to refuse a transfer if their integrity was in doubt. This is necessary to identify fictitious firms or those involved in "naked" operations. When a company cannot prove the legality of a transaction, it will be charged an increased fee. Banks actively use barrage tariffs to reduce the volume of dubious transactions, says Karnoukhov. In some cases, the commission reaches 25% of the transfer. But judicial practice is not in favor of credit institutions, the courts return the money withheld. 

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Author: Karnoukhov Evgeny, Managing partner. Head of Dispute Resolution Practice.