Fidor Bank AG, a German-based direct bank, was fined by the German Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin) in December 2022 for deficiencies in money laundering prevention.

Such events can worry customers and cause them to have difficulty managing their financial affairs at the bank. In such cases, it can be helpful to consult a lawyer who can help resolve problems with the bank.

This text is about how lawyers can help with difficulties with banks and what steps clients can take to fight back against a bank.


Why does BaFin impose fines on Fidor Bank AG?

In a decision dated 1 December 2022, the Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin) imposed fines totalling 3,751,500 euros on Fidor Bank AG.

The basis for this is Section 56 (1) No. 59 of the Act on the Tracing of Profits from Serious Crimes (Money Laundering Act – GwG) in the version of Article 1 of the Act of 23 June 2017 (BGBl I, page 1822) and Section 56 (1) No. 69 of the GwG in the version of Article 1 of the Act of 12 December 2019 (BGBl I, page 2602).

The decision has been binding since 13 December 2022.

As an independent supervisory authority, the Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin) monitors compliance with rules and regulations in the financial sector in Germany. If BaFin finds violations of these regulations, it can impose fines on companies as a measure to make them comply with the rules or to have a deterrent effect on other companies.

What is behind the money laundering charge?

Money laundering is a crime in which illegal funds are fed into the legal financial circuit in order to conceal their origin. Direct banks such as Fidor Bank AG can be misused for money laundering due to their online platform and the quick and easy access to their services.

As part of the efforts to prevent money laundering, banks such as Fidor Bank AG must take appropriate measures to identify and report potential suspicious cases. This includes, for example, identifying and screening customers, monitoring transactions and conducting risk analyses.

If a direct bank such as Fidor Bank AG violates these rules and takes inadequate measures to prevent money laundering, this may result in heavy fines and other criminal prosecution measures. These penalties serve to convey a deterrent effect to the banks concerned and to encourage other banks to take adequate measures to prevent money laundering.

It is important to note that Fidor Bank AG, like all regulated financial institutions, is required to take appropriate measures to prevent money laundering in order to protect the integrity of the financial system and maintain public confidence in the financial sector.

  • According to the BaFin notification, the direct bank must pay almost 3,800,000,000 euros for violating money laundering laws.

Everything about Fidor Bank AG: An overview

Fidor Bank AG is a German bank headquartered in Munich and operates the corporate website It was founded in 2009 and has since become a major player in digital banking services.

The bank says it places particular emphasis on innovation and uses advanced technology to enable its customers to conduct banking transactions quickly and effectively.

Fidor Bank AG is a so-called direct bank, which means that it does not maintain any branches but conducts its business exclusively online. Customers can therefore do their banking from the comfort of their own home and do not have to go to a branch.

A special feature of Fidor Bank AG is its community approach. Customers can exchange information and network in an online community to discuss financial topics and find solutions together.

The bank sees itself as a pioneer in the digitalisation of the banking business and offers its customers numerous innovative services, such as an app with which, among other things, you can make transfers and check your account balance.

How secure is the purchase of Bitcoin via Fidor Bank AG?

It is important to note that Fidor Bank AG, like all regulated financial institutions in Germany, is required to take appropriate measures to prevent money laundering and terrorist financing. However, the imposition of a fine by the German Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin) on Fidor Bank AG for deficiencies in money laundering prevention shows that not all required measures were implemented in the past.

If you decide to buy Bitcoin via Fidor Bank AG, you should inform yourself about the risks of buying Bitcoin in general and carefully check the bank’s security measures. There are various factors that influence security, such as the security of the bank’s technical infrastructure, compliance with regulatory requirements, the risk of cyber attacks and the behaviour of other users of the platform.

In addition, when choosing a platform to buy Bitcoin, you should also consider other factors, such as the reputation of the provider, the fees and the user-friendliness of the platform.

Overall, the security of buying Bitcoin via Fidor Bank AG depends on various factors, and it is important to thoroughly inform yourself and weigh up the risks before choosing a platform.

Experience and customer feedback on Fidor Bank AG

At the time of writing, the following negative customer feedback on Fidor Bank AG can be found on a well-known and much-used rating portal:

“[…] Already written over 10 emails to get my account statements. Instead of telling me up front what exactly they want, support names one thing each time, which rejects my request. This feels like attrition to me.”

“Fidor did not send my card to my home address because allegedly undeliverable several times. After enquiries, the cancellation came for business policy reasons. This time delivered to the same address. This letter was delivered immediately…”

“We were there for at least three years with our business account and then it was high time to switch. Fidor just doesn’t understand what is important in an online bank. The whole communication, the functions, the support is completely outdated and absolutely not smartly developed. Totally unsuitable for a bank that has no branches. Find a better bank and better leave it alone.”

In general, the bank currently has a rating of 2.0 on the rating portal (as of 23.02.2023)

Fraud with Postident procedure via accounts of different banks

Currently, many consumers are facing accusations of having sold high-priced items via eBay or other sales portals, but not having delivered them.

In most cases, those affected are not even active as sellers on the internet. So the astonishment at such an accusation of goods fraud is great. This is further increased when it becomes clear that the victim of fraud has transferred the agreed purchase price to an account that was set up in your name.

The facts of the case are often that a Postident procedure is used to verify the current account at a direct bank.

Postident procedures are essentially similar in that, for example, bank customers no longer have to go to the bank in person to verify their identity, but can do so conveniently via video chat.

  • This procedure seems to reveal more and more sources of error that dishonest internet fraudsters exploit.
  • With a photocopy of your identity card, you can be verified and open a bank account.
  • Now you ask yourself: How do the fraudsters get a copy of my ID card?
    • Perhaps you recently applied to be an app tester and had to deposit your ID for this?
    • It may also be that you were persuaded to photograph your ID in some way via social media or a dating app.

What should I do if I am falsely accused of commodity fraud?

If you are falsely accused of commodity fraud but are innocent, there are several steps you can take:

  1. Research the allegations: find out what evidence or information led to the allegations. Review any documents you have and make sure you understand the allegations.
  2. Gather evidence: If you are innocent, you can try to gather evidence to prove your innocence. Collect any receipts, order confirmations or other documents that prove your purchases and gather any other relevant information that may prove your innocence.
  3. Communicate with the seller or the police: If you are falsely accused of goods fraud, you should communicate with the seller or the police and maintain your innocence. You can also provide evidence to prove your innocence.
  4. Seek legal help: If you are falsely accused of commodity fraud and are unable to clear the allegations, you should seek legal help. A lawyer can assist you in defending your rights and help you to clear the allegations.

It is important that if you are falsely accused of commodity fraud, you act quickly and take appropriate steps to prove your innocence. By responding quickly and defending yourself thoroughly, you can protect your reputation and financial stability.

Identity theft: someone opened an account in my name and used it to commit fraud

Identity theft can have serious consequences and lead to someone committing fraud or other criminal acts in your name. If you discover that someone has opened an account in your name, for example with Fidor Bank AG, and committed fraud with it, you should take immediate action.

  • Report the incident: If you discover that someone has opened an account in your name and committed fraud with it, you should immediately report the incident to the police or other law enforcement authorities. This can prevent further attempts at fraud and help identify the perpetrator.
  • Inform the bank: If someone has opened an account in your name, you should inform the bank concerned immediately. The bank can close the account and prevent further fraud attempts.
  • Check your credit reports: Check your credit reports and look for suspicious activity. Monitor your financial transactions regularly and look for unknown debits or other suspicious activity.
  • Change your passwords: Change your passwords for all online accounts, especially financial accounts, and contact the respective companies to inform them of the identity theft.
  • Protect your identity: Protect your personal information by keeping sensitive documents such as your ID card, passport, driver’s licence and national insurance number safe. Also avoid sharing personal information online or with unknown people.

Identity theft can be a stressful experience, but there are steps you can take to limit the damage and protect yourself from future attacks. It is important that you act quickly and inform all parties involved to minimise the damage.

How does a lawyer help clients in trouble with a direct bank?

Customers who have difficulties with a direct bank can ask a lawyer for advice. With new technologies and digital banking, these types of banks are becoming more popular. However, it can be difficult to approach a direct bank with problems because there are no face-to-face counselling sessions.

  1. A lawyer can help you if you are having difficulty getting your money back, if a transaction has not been completed or if you are seeking compensation for an error or inadequate service. A lawyer can also help resolve disputes between you and your direct bank.
  2. A lawyer can also help protect your rights as a customer and help you ensure that your interests are protected. He can also help you enforce your claims against the direct bank.
  3. A lawyer can help you find the right strategy to enforce your claims against the direct bank. He can also help you enforce your rights to adequate compensation, if necessary.
  4. In short, a lawyer can help you if you have difficulties with your direct bank. He can help you protect your rights and ensure that your interests are protected. He can also help you enforce your claims against the direct bank.

If you have questions about financial services, you are welcome to contact the Herfurtner law firm.