DSGV President demands to help medium-sized companies

13.09.2022 - Press release Nr. 37

Medium-sized companies in Germany are suffering hugely from current energy prices. "The sharp rise in gas and electricity prices is pushing rock solid companies to the edge of the load limit. If we want to survive the economic threat posed by Russia, such companies need help," claimed Helmut Schleweis, President of the German Savings Banks and Giro Association, today in Berlin during the presentation of the S-Mittelstands Fitness Index. The anonymized company balance sheets of the year 2021 of more than 300,000 corporate customers of the Sparkassen-Finanzgruppe were analyzed for the publication.

Schleweis pointed out that in the Corona phase, public funding programs have proven to be a very efficient tool. Due to the large number of companies affected, however, a clear limitation of energy prices is now the most effective means of support. The most important task of economic policy is therefore to limit the growth of electricity and gas prices and to ensure the electricity price does not gallop away with the political gas price.

At the same time, Schleweis called for consistent economy of energy in companies and private households. "If we want to protect our industrial base in Germany – and thus jobs – then companies and private households must save at least 20 percent of energy on average. Every kilowatt hour of electricity that is not consumed, every unused cubic meter of gas relieves the cost side, increases safety of supply, secures jobs – and at the same time reduces resource consumption in the interests of climate protection," said Schleweis.

Germany and the German economy are undoubtedly facing very difficult years. Due to the war in Ukraine and the halt of gas supplies from Russia, the German economy must manage the transformation towards sustainability much faster than expected, according to the DSGV President. "We all have exhausting and to some extent deprived years ahead. However, we should understand that for compelling reasons of climate protection, we should all reduce energy consumption anyway and switch to renewable kinds of energy. The challenge now is that all these actions have to take place in a very short time and, above all, at the same time".  Schleweis was convinced that Germany could be in a better position in a few years than before the current crisis if this effort succeeded.

Schleweis confirmed the fact that medium-sized companies make a significant contribution to Germany's crisis resilience. Successful ecological and energetic transformation can take place with the help of these companies. The capital required for the upcoming energy investments is available with an average equity ratio of just under 40 percent. The institutions of the Sparkassen-Finanzgruppe would reliably stand by the companies with a secure supply of credit.  In the first half of 2022, the Group's companies pledged around EUR 60 billion in new corporate loans – an increase of 19% compared to the first half of 2021. "We are clearly committed to financing the necessary transformation in companies – in private households as well – and to using all our strength to do this," said Schleweis.

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