German public bank

The German banking system is structured in three different pillars, totally separated from each other.[1] They typically differ in their legal form and the ownership.[2] Private banks, represented by banks like Deutsche Bank or Commerzbank as listed companies, and Hauck & Aufhäuser or Bankhaus Lampe as less known private companies, are part of the first pillar. The second pillar is composed of co-operative banks like the numerous Volksbanken and Raiffeisenbanken.[1] They are based on a member-structure where each member, independently from its capital share, has one vote.[3] The third pillar consists of public banks, which are a legally defined arm of the banking industry in Germany. They are further divided into two main groups.

The German Savings Banks Finance Group (Sparkassen-Finanzgruppe) is the most numerous sub-sector with 431 savings banks using the Sparkasse brand,[4] 8 Landesbanken including the DekaBank using separate brands[5] and 10 real-estate financing banks using the LBS brand.[6] The Deutscher Sparkassen- und Giroverband (German Savings Banks and Clearing Association, DSGV) represents the interests of the Sparkassen-Finanzgruppe on a national and international level concerning law and the financial services industry. It also coordinates, promotes and harmonises the interests of Sparkassen.[7]

According to the OECD, the German public banking system had a 40% share of total banking assets in Germany.[8] This shows the significant role of this group of banks in Germany.