Germany’s Banking Sector

Guillaume Gilquin Fonctionnaire d’échange, ministère allemand des finances ; conseiller financier au service économique (DG Trésor), ambassade de France à Berlin, jusqu’en août 2013. Contact : guillaume.gilquin@gmail.com


Although Germany’s banking sector has experienced a wave of consolidation, especially since the financial crisis, the country is still home to a high number of banking institutions. When domestic economic activity was sluggish in the mid-2000s, German banks searched for sources of income abroad; some of them have massively invested in structured products. As a consequence, the financial crisis of 2007-2009 has hit German banks harder than those from other Eurozone countries. The European Commission has played a key role in restructuring the sector, asking in particular that banks which have received state aids strongly reduce their balance sheets – and ordering the liquidation of one of them. Since 2010 the German banking sector has returned to the profit zone and appears more robust thanks to an increase of equity and a reduction of balance sheets. The leverage ratio remains nevertheless significant, profitability remains low in a context of strong competition on the domestic market, and some banks find themselves deeply affected by the crisis of the shipping sector.


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Footnotes

Cet article n’engage que son auteur. Il tient à remercier tout particulièrement Jean Boissinot et Emmanuel Massé pour leurs commentaires, ainsi qu’Anita Gandon et Lucie Petit pour leur aide.

1   Dont la KfW était actionnaire à hauteur de 38 %.

2   Méthode de la juste valeur, selon la norme comptable allemande HGB, y compris la compensation des pertes des deux bad banks à hauteur de la participation du Bund.

3   Les Länder ont également apporté des garanties aux Landesbanken.

4   Donnée non directement comparable avec les pertes du SoFFin.

5   Dont la Landesbank BremenLB, filiale à 100 % de NordLB.


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