This is what a European passbook could look like

Brussels – Europe’s savers receive little interest on their savings – and at the same time get small companies too rarely credit. Both are consequences of the financial crisis. Now the EU Commission wants to tackle these problems in one fell swoop. Their antidote is a new EU passbook for Europe’s citizens. It is to attract small savers with higher interest rates than are usually available at commercial banks. The collected money should be available according to the plans for investments of companies. What sounds like good news for savers, banks see as a threat to their business model.


Picture: piggy bank 

What is the EU Commission planning?

A special savings account. Europe’s citizens could deposit their money on one – after the EU color – “blue savings account”. In the words of EU Internal Market Commissioner Michel Barnier, this could also be “tax-advantaged to send a signal of confidence.” The savings account may also guarantee a certain return throughout Europe. Suppliers would be promotional or investment banks such as the European Investment Bank EIB.

How should that look in concrete terms?

Nobody knows that yet; Details are unknown. In its 19-page communication, the Brussels Commission only describes its idea on 12 lines. The paper cites the EU savings account as one of several ways to raise more money for corporate investment. By the end of the year, the EU authorities want to present a bill. It is now necessary to take account of “considerations such as interest rates, national deposit insurance, complementarity with existing national programs, acceptance of savings and lending criteria”.

What happens to the money collected?

It will go in the form of loans to SMEs to secure their funding. The EU also wants to use it for infrastructure development or for major projects such as roads or hospitals.

Could the plans ever become reality?

That’s completely open. First of all, the EU Commission wants to present a concrete proposal by the end of the year, which will then need the green light from the EU member states and the European Parliament. This process usually takes two years. In addition, after the European elections in May, a new EU commission with a different cast will start its work – whether it pursues the idea is unclear.

What advantages would the consumer have for an EU passbook?

Savers are likely to enjoy interest rates that could be slightly higher than commercial banks. Because in order for small savers to make their money really available for companies, Brussels would have to improve the returns probably with subsidies. Especially for savers in low-interest countries this would be interesting.

And what risk would be for savers?

With a fixed earmarking, they would take risks that would otherwise be borne by the banks. Whether the investors really are so willing to take risks is unclear. Experts also puzzle over how the EU wants to guarantee a certain return. This could be done through funds from the European budget, which is very controversial.

Are there such special savings accounts already?

Yes. Barnier referred to Italy, France, Germany and other countries: “There are such national passbooks.” For Germany, the EU Commission includes German home savings contracts. However, the direct model is the French Livret A. This guarantees a government-fixed return and the interest income is tax-exempt up to a certain investment amount. The savings go to state savings banks, which thus promote small companies or government projects.

Why are the banks against a European passbook?

Because they fear for their business. Their argument is that the money flowing on such a new savings account would be lacking by the banks. “Customers could withdraw their money from the banks,” warns the Chief Executive of the Association of German Banks, Michael Kemmer. The President of the German Sparkassen- und Giroverband (DSGV), Georg Fahrenschon, demands: “We expect that Brussels will take greater account of the successful model of local and regional house banks through a differentiated regulation.”



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News Failure and delay on the long-distance bus: These rights have travelers

News Failure and delay on the long-distance bus: These rights have travelers News always well informed

Monday, 26.10.15 , written by Kathrin Staats Bus travel boom. Last year alone, around 16 million passengers used long-distance buses to get from A to B. However, many travelers do not know their rights in the event of an accident, delay or breakdown. An EU Regulation regulates the rights of long-distance bus travelers, currently informs ZDF WISO. >  Bus travel boom: The train gets competition

Long-distance buses are absolutely trendy: For many people, they are a cheaper, more convenient alternative to the train or to travel by car. Since the long-distance bus market was designed three years ago, the number of users is increasing steadily. According to the Federal Statistical Office, as early as the first year of 2013, around 8.2 million travelers used the long-distance bus service. In 2014, the number of passengers almost doubled.

Accordingly, 16 million passengers were carried by companies based in Germany, such as MeinFernbus or FlixBus, BerlinLinienBus, Postbus (formerly ADAC Postbus). But a majority of travelers do not know their rights when the bus is delayed, the journey is canceled or a breakdown occurs. This regulates the EU Regulation 181/2011. ZDF WISO clarifies therefore in the current tip over the passenger rights of coach passengers.

Delay on long-distance bus: length of the route crucial

Long-distance scheduled services increased by just under 96 percent in 2014, while Deutsche Bahn reported a loss of 1.8 percent in the same year. Despite the current boom, many long-distance bus travelers do not know that they have the same rights in the event of delays, accidents or breakdowns as, for example, train drivers. However, this only applies if the planned route is at least 250 kilometers .

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Claims for refund in case of delay or cancellation of the long-distance bus journey

In case of a delay of the long-distance bus over 30 minutes or a cancellation of the journey , the companies are legally obliged to inform the passenger , informs ZDF WISO. In many cases, customers are not notified of a delay on the spot. However, they can often deposit a phone number when booking, so vendors notify their customers via message.

If the trip is overbooked or the departure is delayed by more than two hours, the passenger has two options. Either he can continue his journey as soon as possible under comparable conditions without additional charge. Or he waives his already booked trip and gets the fare back in full within 14 days. If the company does not offer the passenger both options, they will be entitled to compensation of 50% of the fare in addition to the reimbursement .

Tip: In the event that passengers wish to claim, they should have their delays confirmed in writing by the bus driver or employee of the company.

Delayed arrival at the destination: Do passengers get their money back?

Passengers can only assert claims if the departure time is not complied with and the route is over 250 kilometers . If the long-distance bus has departed in good time, but arrives late due to traffic jams or bad weather conditions at the destination, the passenger can not claim reimbursements or compensation.

Even with breakdowns : no reimbursement. If the bus remains on the road, the carrier must ensure that the journey continues or that the passengers are dropped off at a suitable point from where they can continue their journey.

Clear rights in case of traffic accidents

For traffic accidents, the EU regulation also provides for a clear regulation for passengers. For example, if a passenger injured in an accident during the bus or death, can be claimed against the provider claims in the amount of 220,000 euros . In case of loss or damage of baggage due to an accident, bus companies are also liable. Accordingly, the passenger can claim compensation of up to € 1,200 per piece of luggage .

How can long-distance coach passengers claim?

If passengers want to file a complaint , they have three months to contact the provider directly. As a result, the company has four weeks to respond . If customers are not satisfied with the response of the coach company or if the complaint remains unsuccessful, ZDF WISO advises itself to contact the Federal Railway Authority or the Public Procurement Authority (SÖP).

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Which providers are there in Germany?


The most recent is Turo, an American start-up that claims to be the leader in peer-to-peer sharing with more than 5 million customers worldwide and 200,000 vehicles in more than 5,500 cities. Daimler has also been involved in the company since 2017. The Americans compete with the self-proclaimed European leader Snappcar with 50,000 cars and 400,000 customers, in which the Opel service CarUnity has risen, or to Drivy. The service Croove, which Daimler started a good year ago in Munich, is supposed to merge into Turo. They all provide more or less nationally private vehicles for rent, live off the commission and promise prices well below car rental level.

What idea is behind it?

What idea is behind it?

The worldwide more than one billion and in Germany at least 45 million vehicles are on average 23 hours a day quiet, explains Turo boss Andre Haddad. The services they offer enhance the potential of private cars: “It’s a flexible mobility solution for travelers and gives car owners a valuable tool to offset the cost of their vehicles.” Because the owners get money for every use, and customers usually pay less for a private sharing vehicle than for a rental car.

How does the rental and transfer work?

How does the rental and transfer work?

The rental is usually via smartphone apps or the website. At Turo, for example, tenants can according to the information, in addition to place and date, even select the make, model and color of the vehicle. If the booking request is accepted by the landlord, they meet to hand over the car. Here, the landlord checks the authenticity of the driver’s license, together, for example, kilometer and fuel gauge and any damage to the car are recorded with photos, explains spokeswoman Katharina Hein. After all the details have been checked on the return of the car, the payment is made via services such as Paypal. The receipt can be downloaded from the website.

Sounds a bit awkward, right?

Sounds a bit awkward, right?

This is also admitted by Susanne Kreusch. The Berliner was a peer-to-peer Sharerin of the first hour at the time of the now discontinued Opel service CarUnity and has given her BMW 116i many times to strangers. However, she always had to arrange a personal meeting to hand over the keys, which had limited the flexibility.

But that is changing so slowly now. In the same way as you can open the commercial sharing vehicles of Car2Go and DriveNow without a key, in the future also conventional cars can be upgraded accordingly: Smart and Mini at least confirm appropriate solutions and announce the early sale release.

Even Drivy owners can have a technology called Drive Open built into their car – so that others can open it by smartphone and owners no longer have to hand over.

The Chinese manufacturer Lynk & Co. has even given its off-road vehicle Lynk 01 a special sharing button in the cockpit, with which you can release the car for a defined community. Then registered users can open the car with the smartphone, and the manufacturer takes care of the billing at individually defined rates, explains brand manager Alain Visser. Volvo is also working on a SUV, which can be opened with a previously activated smartphone and used by strangers, without having to hand over the keys with difficulty.

How do I find a free car?

How do I find a free car?

About the website or app can search cars in the vicinity. At Turo, landlords may also offer delivery of the car at an additional cost, for example to the nearest airport or to another location requested by the customer.

What does it cost and what tariffs are there?

What does it cost and what tariffs are there?

Depending on the provider, cars are offered by the hour or by day – often for less than 50 euros per 24 hours. For Drivy about the average price is according to own data 30 euro per day plus the fuel costs.

What about insurance protection?

What about insurance protection?

The mediators Turo, Drivy and Snappcar cooperate with the alliance. The landlord must take out a corresponding additional insurance, which includes liability and hull damage. The primary insurance of the car remains unaffected. The renter can choose between several packages with different deductibles.

Do I need to inform my car insurance company about car sharing?

Do I need to inform my car insurance company about car sharing?

This is definitely advisable, says Jens Dötsch, member of the Association of Traffic Law of the German Bar Association (DAV). For example, drivers reduce the risk of potential benefit cuts in the event that the insurer of the carsharing company does not pay for the damage in full. This applies to both liability and comprehensive insurance. “It can also be, for example, that I have a tariff that excludes commercial use,” says Dötsch. “And nothing else is here, I earn money with it.”

In the event of an accident, it is common practice for the injured party to register for the actual liability insurance of the polluter. “Because I do not know if the car is currently in car sharing or not,” explains Dötsch. “And as a victim, I would not rely on obscure designs, but turn to the insurer where the car is actually insured.” For example, he can find out about the license plate number of the insurer’s central call.

For each damage report, the insurer must first automatically upgrade the customer. This can be reversed in retrospect, if no payments are required, explains Dötsch. Then you have to explain to your insurer, however, why the car is insured with another insurer in addition – and ask him to get in touch because of the upgrading and claim settlement with this. “I can not imagine that in practice so smoothly and without work for the landlord expires.”


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Tax return (5): To fill the KAP from right

The form KAP is your passive income, that is primarily dividends and interest, reserved. However, it applies only to private capital income. Interest or dividends that affect your company or practice and income incurred as part of your rental income, do not belong in here, but these types of income must be allocated. Speculative gains or losses are also not covered by this form. This you have to contend with the facility SO.

In the top of the form, enter your name, first name, and your tax number. Check “for income tax return” to.

Tip on dealing with the annual certificate

Line 4: Interest on savings accounts, savings contracts, time deposits, savings bonds, money market accounts and foreign currency accounts (if the debtor is domiciled in Germany).

Line 5: interest in building society deposits. Exception: the savings agreement is the purchase or renovation of a House Rental. In this case, the income must be recognized in the plant hire (line 11).

Line 6: yields of fixed income securities, such as fixed rate bonds, savings bonds Type A financial resources of the Federal, mortgage bonds, savings bonds, bonds, currency bonds (where they do not belong to foreign income). As taken on the sale of fixed-income securities include accrued interest as accrued interest to your income (according to the bill).

Note: accrued interest paid Buyer are negative revenue, so no advertising costs. If the Bank has the positive revenue (interest, accrued interest) charged in the settlement already negative (paid accrued interest), you need to be entered here, only the difference.

Also, income from securities without regular interest payments (for example, zero bonds, Treasury discount paper, Federal savings bonds Type B, up and discounted savings bonds) you need to specify here, as well as bonds and government debt if accrued interest is not particularly taken into account, also index bonds (loan and/or interest payments depend on an index from), high yield and exchangeable bonds and lubricants and combi yield bonds.

Line 7: Interest on so-called board papers (papers that are sold without attribution and kept in no deposit), you must list separately, since the withheld interest income tax is 35 percent.

Line 8: Income from investment funds with interest-bearing securities. In here also include the interest component of equity funds. Attention! Dividend income from funds you must specify in line 19th Which returns your Fund as specified in the relevant annual tax statement. Interim profits from the sale of fund shares are also income or negative income.

Line 9: For property owners (owner): Here you can add interest from the repair reserve an apartment owners association or from a stored deposit.

Line 11: Interest income on convertible bonds. These are bonds that grant a right to convert into shares in addition to a fixed interest rate. Income bonds are bonds that pay an interesting bonus, which depends on the amount of profit distribution of the debtor.

Line 12: Interest on a taxable life insurance (less than twelve-year term). The interest rates and eventually retained by the Company capital gains tax can be found in the settlement.

Line 13: Income from a typical silent partnership / a participating loan. You must specify all income as a silent partner here as regular interest payments, premiums, or a Damnum scored additional proceeds on the sale of the liner. A shareholder loan is when you do not receive interest but profit shares.

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