International Students in Dire Straits, German Blocked Account Provider Stops Monthly Payments

Hamburg-based BAM Bundesweites Anlagenmanagement, which is a blocked account provider in Germany, has stopped paying the amount of €861 per month to international students in the country since June. 

Before entering Germany, international students should open blocked accounts and deposit the required amount of money (€10,332 for one year) when applying for a student visa to the country as proof that they are able to cover their living expenses in Germany, according to Studying-in-Germany.org.

Students who have accepted the deal with the respective company which offered them an all-round carefree package of €60 euros to open a blocked account at Aareal Bank in Wiesbaden have expressed their dissatisfaction over the matter, saying that their landlords are asking them to pay the rent, while they should also pay health insurance in Germany, Erudera.com reports.

 “I thought, “well it is on the official government website, has to be legit!” Turned out it wasn’t. They paid 6 parcels normally, but this week everything went downhill. I did not get June payment (should’ve happened on the 28th or 29th), their website is down, and obviously they didn’t reply to any of my contact attempts per email, and both phone numbers I could find are going to mail box directly,“ a student’s post on Reddit reads.

A group of 180 students who have not received payments from BAM has calculated how much money should still be in their blocked accounts, which has resulted in over €800,000 in mid-July for the group alone. These students mainly come from Lebanon, Senegal, South Korea, and the United States. Nonetheless, there could be more students suffering financial hardships by not receiving their monthly payments.

According to the Federal Association of Foreign Students (BAS), more than 200 students should receive over €2 million in their bank accounts. The association assured students that the Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin) has the funds and that the latter will be repaid in full.

In the meantime, BAS has called on the members of Bundestag, Foreign Affairs Minister Heiko Maas, and some non-governmental organizations to make sure that money is paid out to all students and to not allow such a situation to repeat again, adding that students must pay rents and cover their living expenses.

Furthermore, BaFin stressed that Aareal Bank did not receive permission to transfer the money to students without account holders initiating the funds due to blocked accounts being opened illegally. It highlighted that the blocked accounts did not have students’ names; however, the company still collected the means in its account.

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