“Civil law” or “private law” refers to the part of the law which governs the legal relationship between private law subjects among themselves, i.e. citizens. In the event of disputes in this area, jurisdiction lies with the civil courts. Civil or private law must be distinguished from public law.
Public law governs the legal relationship between the state and the private law subject or the relationship between public authorities among themselves. Examples of public law include supervisory law, criminal law and tax law.
In the regulated area of payment services as well as banking and financial services, any institution providing such services does not only need to adhere to the applicable rules under private law, which are, in particular, set out in the German Civil Code (BGB), the German Commercial Code (HGB) and the case law relating to the BGB. In addition, institutions must also comply with applicable supervisory laws. Compliance with these supervisory laws is monitored by BaFin.