Schleweis: “Savings Banks generated more retail banking business in 2019, but with lower earnings”
Berlin, 19 March 2020 - Press Release 20
Helmut Schleweis, President of the German Savings Banks Association (DSGV), described the past fiscal year of Germany’s 378 Savings Banks as a “good retail banking year, but with lower operating earnings”. “Customers place a great deal of trust in their Savings Banks, making them the number-one financial partner in Germany. With a share of about 30 percent, we are the market leader in loans to enterprises and self-employed persons, and with a share of 35.2 percent, we are the market leader in residential real estate financing. At the same time, it is becoming more and more difficult to translate market success into a trading profit”, said Schleweis.
In fiscal year 2019, the balance sheet total of Germany’s 378 Savings Banks increased to EUR 1,300 billion. At year-end, the customer lending business amounted to EUR 861.1 billion, 4.6 percent more than at the end of 2018. Portfolio growth was particularly significant in loans to enterprises, which increased by 5.7 percent to EUR 443.8 billion. Savings Banks once again provided more loans to enterprises and self-employed persons than in the previous year. New loan commitments for these customers increased by EUR 4.1 billion to EUR 93.3 billion.
Savings Banks also continued to grow in residential real estate financing. Residential housing loans accounted for EUR 321.2 billion of the EUR 363.6 billion (+4.3 percent) in loans to private individuals. This was an increase of 5.9 percent in the residential housing loan portfolio. It reflects very dynamic new business. Residential housing loans accounted for EUR 59 billion of the EUR 69.9 billion in new loans to private individuals and were 17.3 percent above the previous year’s level.
In fiscal year 2019, the Savings Banks’ customer deposits increased by EUR 45.2 billion to EUR 995.4 billion. With interest rates persistently low, only sight deposits (which are on short call) increased. Here, Savings Banks recorded an increase by 8.8 percent to EUR 664.6 billion. This also means that large sections of the population and the business community have significant cash and cash equivalents at their disposal to cushion the effects of the current crisis.