Modern office Buildings in Frankfurt, Germany | © Getty Images/Westend61
There were 1,888 credit institutions active in Germany in 2016, of which 281 were private banks. The banking sector has a workforce of more than 600,000 people. The total assets of the German banking industry amounted to EUR 7,836 billion in 2016.
German Banking Industry Assets 2016 | © Deutsche Bundesbank, bankenverband
The banking sector in Germany is made up of three pillars: commercial banks, the public banking sector (Sparkassen and Landesbanken – Germany’s decentralized network of independent regional commercial and savings banks) and cooperative banks (Volks- und Raiffeisenbanken).
This is a special characteristic of the German market, as private banks only cover part of the market. Large sections of the market are served by the network of savings and cooperative banks. Germany’s universal banking system is another unique feature of the German market.
|Largest German Commercial Banks by Total Assets 2016 (in EUR billion)|
|Deutsche Bank AG*||Frankfurt/M.||1.591|
|DZ Bank AG **||Frankfurt/M.||509|
|KfW Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau||Frankfurt/M.||507|
|Unicredit Bank AG||Munich||302|
|Bayerische Landesbank ||Munich||212|
|Landesbank Hessen-Thüringen Girozentrale||Frankfurt/M.||175|
|Norddeutsche Landesbank Girozentrale||Hanover||175|
|*incl. Postbank; ** merger with WGZ Bank|
|Largest German Saving Banks by Total Assets 2017 (in EUR billion)|
|Hamburger Sparkasse ||Hamburg||44.1|
|Mittelbrandenburgische Sparkasse in Potsdam||Potsdam||12.8|
|Sparkasse Pforzheim Calw||Pforzheim||11.6|
|Ostsächsische Sparkasse Dresden||Dresden||11.6|
|Source: Deutscher Sparkassen- und Giroverband|
|Largest German Cooperative Banks by Total Assets 2017 (in EUR billion)|
|Deutsche Apotheker- und Ärztebank eG||Düsseldorf||41.5|
|Berliner Volksbank eG ||Berlin||13.5|
|Sparda-Bank Baden-Württemberg eG ||Stuttgart||13.5|
|BBBank eG, Karlsruhe ||Karlsruhe||11.0|
|Sparda-Bank Südwest eG||Mainz||9.6|
|Frankfurter Volksbank eG ||Frankfurt/M.||9.4|
|Sparda-Bank West eG ||Düsseldorf||9.3|
|Bank für Sozialwirtschaft AG ||Cologne||8.6|
|Sparda-Bank München eG ||Munich||7.6|
|Evangelische Bank eG ||Kassel||7.3|
|Source: Bundesverband der Deutschen Volksbanken und Raiffeisenbanken|
The largest bank location in Germany is Frankfurt; other important bank locations include Munich, Dusseldorf, and Hamburg.
Financial Center Frankfurt
The city of Frankfurt is the most important financial hub in continental Europe and a key center of financial market stability. It features a unique concentration of European and national supervisory bodies, international banks, insurance companies and legal practitioners.
On top of Germany’s general political and economic stability, five factors in particular make Frankfurt an attractive place to set up office:
- Reputation for financial soundness and solidity
- Function as a central hub for national, European and global financial activity
- Depth and density of resources, with proximity and access to key players up to and including ECB
- Site-specific qualities including affordable office rents and costs of living
The financial hub of Frankfurt is home to an exceptional network comprised of 202 banks (40 domestic banks, 162 international banks and 33 representative offices), 7,900 financial services companies and investment funds as well as large branches of all of the world’s best-known consulting agencies, law firms and auditing companies.
Deutsche Börse group’s headquarters is also located in Frankfurt. Deutsche Börse is globally engaged in Luxembourg, Prague, London, Zurich, Moscow, New York, Chicago, Hong Kong, Singapore, Beijing, and Tokyo.
Financial Center Frankfurt: Talent Pool and Leading in Business and Technical Infrastructure
As a center for academic, scientific and research activity, Frankfurt benefits from 34 first-rate higher education institutions all located within a one-hour drive from Frankfurt. Centers of study and research in the Frankfurt region place a strong emphasis on fields closely related to banking, the financial sector, monetary and currency policy, international economic policy, and insurance systems. These links between sectors and stakeholders give the city a unique competitive advantage over all of the other financial centers in Europe. The number of financial market participants who want to set up offices in Frankfurt or expand their activities there is growing continuously.
Today, over 100,000 people in the Frankfurt/Rhine-Main region work in the financial services sector. First-rate research centers such as the House of Finance at the Goethe University Frankfurt, the Frankfurt School of Finance and Management, the Center for Financial Studies and the International Center for Insurance regulation provide scientific expertise and offer top-notch education to highly qualified young talent. Within a 45-minute travel radius, over 26,000 students are currently working towards a degree in economics, and over 16,000 students are engaged in the study of law.
Nearly all law firms and auditing companies have expanded their Frankfurt operations in recent years and moved their regulatory practice departments there.
Frankfurt is Europe's digital capital, and with more than 6 Terabit per second peak traffic, DE-CIX Frankfurt is the world's leading Internet Exchange. This interconnection platform currently manages over 5.5 terabits per second peak traffic. Hundreds of internet service providers are connected with each other via this exchange, which in Frankfurt alone is itself connected with 19 data centers. All of the global players in the data center industry have operations in Frankfurt: e-shelter, Equinix, Level 3, KDDI/Telehouse, Global Switch, Digital Reality and many other providers are distributed throughout the metropolitan area, and every section of Frankfurt has access to high-availability, redundant systems and to banking and financial services data stored in the data centers.
Financial Center Frankfurt: Center of Financial Market Stability
Frankfurt has become the center of financial market stability in Europe – for the euro area and beyond. Its closely linked network of banks, insurance companies, and national and European institutions and supervisory bodies (including the ECB, ESRB, SSM, EIOPA, Deutsche Bundesbank and BaFin) is without equivalent – and unmatched by any other financial center in Europe.
Important European financial supervision actors are located in Frankfurt.
The Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin - Bundesanstalt für Finanzdienstleistungsaufsicht) and Federal Agency for Financial Market Stabilisation (FSMA - Bundesanstalt für Finanzmarktstabilisierung) are also located in Frankfurt.
Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin - Bundesanstalt für Finanzdienstleistungsaufsicht): One of the largest financial supervisory authorities in Europe. BaFin takes an industry-appropriate and risk-oriented approach to supervision on the basis of recognised European supervisory standards. BaFin’s departments competent for supervising securities and capital markets are located in Frankfurt. More
Federal Agency for Financial Market Stabilisation (FSMA - Bundesanstalt für Finanzmarktstabilisierung): Germany’s national resolution authority manages numerous shareholdings with financial institutions on behalf of the federal government and is responsible for nationally administering the Single Resolution Fund’s bank levy. In addition, the FMSA supervises the two EAA and FMS-WM wind-down agencies. More
Deutsche Bundesbank: Central bank of the Federal Republic of Germany. More
FrankfurtMainFinance: Financial center initiative for Frankfurt am Main with more than 40 members including the State of Hesse, the cities of Frankfurt and Eschborn, and dozens of prominent actors in the finance sector. More
Deutsche Börse Venture Network®: Deutsche Börse Venture Network helps improve the financing situation of developing companies. It does so by bringing young, fast-growing companies together with national and international investors. More
Sources: Bundesregierung, BMF, Bundesverband deutscher Banken, Deutsche Bundesbank, VAB, GDV, FMF