Many international students in Germany are experiencing financial difficulties following their German block account service, Hamburg-based BAM Bundesweites Anlagenmanagement stopped paying them the fixed monthly amount they had blocked on their accounts prior to arriving in Germany.
The provider of the blocked account provided students with a comprehensive worry-free deal of EUR60 for the account to be blocked with Aareal Bank in Wiesbaden, that in others banks within Germany is more expensive.
Students have expressed their outrage at the situation, and BAM as well as Aareal Bank have been accused of Aareal Bank not offering them assistance, saying they have to pay for rent as well as health insurance premiums in Germany and the payments have been halted since June.
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“They typically paid six parcels however this week it all fell apart. I didn’t receive my June payments (it should have been on the day of the 28th, or possibly 29th) Their website is not working and, evidently, they didn’t respond to my attempts to contact them via email and both phone numbers I could locate are going to the mailbox directly. I have my entire savings” one student wrote on Reddit.
More than 180 students to countries like the US, Senegal, Lebanon along with South Korea have joined together in the Telegram group. After calculating the amount each one of them blocked, they stated they had a total that was deposited into the blocked accounts reached around EUR800,000 in mid-July.
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In July the financial regulator for Germany and called the Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin) has urged BAM to stop immediately the illegal deposit business and argued that blocking accounts was illegal.
It also pointed out that those accounts were not belonging to students, while the service took the funds of students into its own account. Therefore, Aareal Bank was not permitted to make payments to the latter.
The Federal Association of Foreign Students (BAS) has expressed concern about the students’ inability to receive their funds however, they insist the fact that it has received confirmation that applicants and students are expected to receive their payments within two weeks.
The association has also asked the Minister of foreign affairs, Heiko Maas, ensure that students receive the aid as quickly as they can and has also urged the Bundestag and other important organizations and bodies in Germany to prevent an occurrence similar to the one that occurred.
According to the estimates of BAS, the Federal Association of Foreign Students (BAS) More over 200 international students in debt of more than EUR2 million.
Germany requires international students from non-EEA or non-EU countries to establish a block account (Sperrkonto) in order to obtain an German Student visa, or resident permit for Germany and to prove they can finance themselves in the first year of their studies in Germany. In 2021 students from abroad must put at least 103,000 euros into an account that is blocked, and they are permitted to withdraw just EUR861 per month.