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Targobank convicted of aggressive business conduct

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Targobank convicted of aggressive business conduct

Necessary pop-up window: Targobank convicted of aggressive business conduct

© Robert Kneschke / Adobe Stock

The Federal Association of Consumer Organizations (vzbv) noticed that when online banking was accessed on the Targobank website, a pop-up window opened in which consumers expressed their consent or rejection of the current terms and conditions and the list of prices and services for all private Accounts and depots had to be explained. This was the only way to close the window and continue online banking. In the pop-up window, the bank informed customers that if they did not agree, “you would be depriving us of an important basis for our common business relationship.”

The vzbv sued – and, according to its own statements, was right: consumers who log in to the bank online are required to make an immediate decision without any time for reflection or reflection. Your consent is described as “necessary” in the customer information. If you don’t agree, the bank threatens you with termination, at least as the consumer understands it. The Düsseldorf Regional Court decided that this action by Targobank was an aggressive commercial act in the form of coercion, which was prohibited under competition law.

In addition, according to the court, the information in the pop-up window is sometimes incomprehensible, or at least misleading. It is not immediately clear what consequences a refused consent would have and whether online banking could still have been used afterwards. As a result, the bank exerted unreasonable pressure on its customers in the middle of the login process to decide on the consent requested by the bank if in doubt.

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The background to the decision is a ruling by the Federal Court of Justice from 2021. According to this, clauses that allow contract and price changes without any reason or limit without the express consent of the consumer are invalid.

to LG Düsseldorf, judgment of September 13, 2023 – 12 O 78/22

Editorial team beck-aktuell, bw, December 11, 2023.

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Klanten, new agreement on general terms and conditions after the Postbank decision of the BGH, BKR 2022, 211

Dieckmann, The general terms and conditions of banks and savings banks after the end of the consent fiction, BKR 2021, 657

BGH, Inadmissible fiction of consent in banking general terms and conditions, NJW 2021, 2273

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