What is a bank intermediary

Know-how - the basics of the funding world

It is well known: If a company takes out a promotional loan or a loan, the bank will be entitled to interest for the use of the loan amount. In addition, so-called commitment interest or a so-called commitment commission may also apply.

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Cost trap: For companies, the provision fee means significant additional expenses.

Promotional loans and credits are usually designed for the full disbursement of the entire requested funds at a specific point in time. However, it often happens that the total amount is not required by the borrower immediately, but is called up in several parts. Typically, this is the case with real estate financing, for example, in which the tradesman's bills are usually paid gradually due to the various construction phases and trades. But this is also customary for promotional loans that map various projects to be implemented one after the other.

Uncalled capital: a problem for banks

What is common practice for companies is fraught with several problems for house banks and registries. Because for them, every capital that is not called up means a loss-making business, since it lies idle for an indefinite period of time and the financial institutions cannot work with it and make profits.
At the same time, capital that is ready for disbursement and not drawn is associated with two enormous risks for the lender. On the one hand, he cannot estimate when the borrower will have the next tranche paid out, and on the other hand, whether this will even be the case. Especially since the interest rate stipulated in the framework contract may only be levied on the funds paid out.

Determination of the commitment fee

In order to compensate for this, the banks and contracting authorities therefore charge a so-called commitment commission or so-called commitment interest. They are levied either on the funds that have not yet been called up or on the full loan amount and set individually by the respective credit institution.

For example, depending on the respective funding program, the Thüringer Aufbaubank demands 0.1% commitment fee per month from its customers on the loan amount not yet called, the KfW and NRW.BANK 0.25% per month and the LfA Förderbank Bayern 2.0% per month Year.

Due date of the commitment fee

The point in time from which the commitment fee is due also varies and depends on the loan terms negotiated with the bank or issuing agency. In some cases, the deployment interest-free period is only one month, in others, deployment interest-free periods of up to 2 years are also possible.

For example, KfW and Thüringer Aufbaubank grant an interest-free period of one month and 2 banking days from the date of acceptance for some funding programs, while NRW.BANK and LfA Förderbank Bayern grant an interest-free period of up to 2 months.

In some cases, however, the specified interest-free phase can also be extended by making appropriate surcharges.

Tips for companies

But: If a company waits too long to call up the funds it has requested, the commitment fee quickly becomes a cost trap and means higher expenses and thus less liquidity for the company.

The company's negotiating skills and the support of experts are an advantage here. Because agreements made during the loan negotiations on the length of the provision interest-free period and the amount of interest allow the additional costs for the company to be kept as low as possible.

Another option to bypass the commitment fee is to have the full loan amount transferred to a fixed deposit account when the loan is ready to be disbursed.

When renting the property, the provision interest can also be deducted from tax as part of the construction costs.


  • Leaflet of the Thüringer Aufbaubank on the funding program "GuW Thuringia - start-up and growth financing" | Download PDF
  • KfW leaflet on the “KfW Entrepreneur Loan” funding program | Download PDF
  • Glossary article by NRW.BANK on the “provision commission”, nrwbank.de
  • Information sheet from NRW.BANK on the “NRW.BANK.Mittelstandskredit” funding program | Download PDF
  • Leaflet from LfA Förderbank Bayern on the “Universalkredit” funding program | Download PDF