Sight deposit

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In the banking sector, sight deposit is the term used for bank balances for which no term or period of notice has been agreed or whose term or period of notice is less than one month. The normal case are the sight deposits due daily. The term comes from deposits, about which the creditor sight - so any time - by cash withdrawals or cashless payments may decide without his intention to the account holding bank to have to show before.

Legal bases

According to Section 1 (1) No. 1 KWG , the acceptance of third-party funds as deposits or other unconditionally repayable funds from the public is considered a banking business that may only be conducted commercially with the permission of the BaFin banking supervisory authority . For this reason, only credit institutions are authorized to accept sight deposits or to generate them as part of the creation of bank money .

A legal definition of the term sight deposits can be found in § 3 of the instruction of the Deutsche Bundesbank on minimum reserves (AMR), which designated sight liabilities as payable on demand and those liabilities of credit institutions for which a notice period or term of less than one month has been agreed. This instruction was canceled by the Bundesbank due to the third stage of monetary union .

The Liquidity Ordinance applicable to credit institutions now describes sight deposits as payment obligations due daily or within one month in Section 2 (1) No. 1 LiqV. According to this, 10% of the sight deposits are to be recorded as payment obligations in accordance with Section 4 (1) No. 2 LiqV.


Current account balances are the most common form of sight deposits because they are due daily; The balances of call money accounts are also due daily. This means that the account holder does not have to announce intended disposals to the bank in advance and can access the credit unlimited. While liquidity and payment transaction motives are in the foreground with current accounts, overnight money accounts are used exclusively for financial investments.

Also on deposits of notice may be available under the "promised performance" up to the amount of 2,000 € without observing. Since they are part of the savings deposits, they are formally not part of the sight deposits.


Due to their availability, sight deposits are used in particular for payment transaction purposes. Because of their very unfavorable interest rates or even zero interest rates, they are therefore not suitable for investment; however, experience has shown that a certain amount remains on current accounts, which is not available even in the medium term ( deposit theory ). Sight deposits reduce cash holdings and thus the risk of loss ( theft , loss , fire ).


According to a Bundesbank study, around 47% of sales at a point of sale in Germany are cashless. According to the Bundesbank statistics, sight deposits reached around 37% of all domestic non-bank deposits in February 2010, the rest were time deposits . In macroeconomic money supply theory (see monetary base ), the quotient of cash holdings and sight deposit holdings is called the cash coefficient. It tells you how high the proportion of cash in circulation is compared to sight deposits at banks that could be converted into cash at any time by withdrawing them. Together with the currency in circulation , sight deposits form the money supply M1, an important economic indicator for assessing the development of the money supply.


As is the case with all bank balances, sight deposits at German credit institutions are subject to at least the statutory deposit protection and often also the voluntary deposit protection of individual banking associations. According to Section 4 (2) No. 1 of the Deposit Protection and Investor Compensation Act (EAEG), deposits of up to € 100,000 are secured, which are paid out in the event of compensation if a credit institution is unable to repay deposits under Section 5 EAEG. Deposits within the meaning of the EAEG are (to put it simply) credit balances with banks that arise in the course of the bank's business activities and are to be repaid by the bank on the basis of legal or contractual provisions. This also includes claims that the institute has securitized by issuing a certificate, but not bearer and order bonds. Sight deposits are therefore also covered by this provision. In addition to this statutory deposit guarantee, the individual banking associations have an additional deposit guarantee that goes beyond this amount. The credit institutions are legally obliged to provide information about the type and amount of deposit protection if their customers reveal a particular interest in the nominal security of an investment.

Web links

Wiktionary: Visual insert  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. Communication No. 5004/98 of the Deutsche Bundesbank of December 29, 1998
  2. ^ Karl Friedrich Hagenmüller / Reinhold Adrian / Gerhard Diepen / Thomas Heidorn, Der Bankbetrieb , 2000, p. 239
  3. In the following Bundesbank study on payment behavior 2011, the term point of sale refers to the “place where goods or services are sold and paid for. Most of them are cash registers, but they can also be other locations, for example when craftsmen's services in private households are paid for step by step or paid for in online and mail order businesses. "
  4. Heike Wörlen, Markus Altmann, Heike Winter, Johannes Klocke, Julien Novotny, Robert Uhlitzsch: Payment behavior in Germany 2011. (PDF) (No longer available online.) Deutsche Bundesbank, November 27, 2012, p. 37 , archived from the original on June 20, 2013 ; Retrieved on June 2, 2013 (According to the survey of a representative group of people carried out by the Bundesbank, 53.1% of all sales were settled in cash in a certain week in 2011. The percentage for non- cash transactions stated in the text is the difference to 100%. Measured against the number of transactions, the share of cashless payment methods was only 18%.). Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  5. ^ N. Gregory Mankiw: Macroeconomics . Ed .: Shani Fisher. 9th edition. Macmillan Education, New York 2016, ISBN 978-1-4641-8289-1 .
  6. ^ BGH, judgments of July 14, 2009, Az .: XI ZR 152/08 and XI ZR 153/08