Savings bond

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A savings bond is one of a financial institution issued securities , which the investment is used. In Switzerland, the term medium- term bond is used for an analogous product .


The “Concise Dictionary of Banking” mentioned as early as 1933 that Deutsche Bank and Disconto-Gesellschaft “have embarked on a new path to attract savings by creating savings bonds”. The model is the English "Savings Certificates", which from 1915 initially served to finance the war. Vereinsbank Wiesbaden (today: Wiesbadener Volksbank ) first issued the first savings bonds of today's type in Germany on April 15, 1964, followed by the Raiffeisen banks in December 1967. The first savings bank letters came out in August 1967, followed by the savings bank bonds in 1970. The Bundesbank reported that these securitized forms of investment had a dampening effect on account savings in 1968 and were therefore initially a substitute. These forms of investment offered higher interest rates than conventional savings. This was due, on the one hand, to the lower administrative burden and, on the other hand, to the initially missing minimum reserve requirement for the issuing institutes. The legislature made up for this and placed all savings bonds with a term of 4 years and more under the minimum reserve requirement; for bearer bonds, the obligation begins with a term of 2 years.


Savings bonds are offered by banks such as major banks , cooperative banks or other private banks . These forms of investment are called Sparkassenbriefe at Sparkassen . The Sparkassenbrief is an interest-bearing security issued by a Sparkasse, denominated in a certain amount, which is made out in the name of the beneficiary (registered or rectal paper) and gives him a payment claim against the Sparkasse. The savings bank ordinances (SpkVO) of the federal states regulated this type of investment. According to § 8 Abs. 1 SpkVO Thuringia of October 29, 1991 "the Sparkasse can issue registered bonds under the name 'Sparkassenbrief'", according to § 8 Abs. 2 SpkVO it can also issue order bonds under the name "Sparkassenobligation".

There are also subordinated savings (cash) letters, in which a subordination agreement ensures that investors are not satisfied on an equal footing with other investors, but that their risk is approximated to the entrepreneurial risk of a partner . They are therefore assigned to the worst risk class within the investment forms , with the risk of a total loss of the investment amount.

Legal nature

According to its legal nature, the savings (kassen) letter is a " commercial obligation " within the meaning of Section 363 HGB . It does not contain an order clause and is therefore a recta paper . He is indeed a security, but not in the legal sense depot ( § 1 para. 1 Custody Act), because only by herein endorsement transferable debt securities or the name of a securities depository bank issued registered bonds are mentioned. Savings bonds are made out in the name of a specific person and oblige the issuer to pay the securitized amount of money to the named person . Only the person entitled by name or his legal successor is authorized to assert the documented claims. The exhibitor is therefore only exempt from payment if payment is made to the real beneficiary.

The subordination agreement for subordinated savings (cash) letters obliges the investor to be compensated only in the event of the liquidation or insolvency of the issuing credit institution in rank behind all other creditors from the insolvency estate. These are subordinated loans which, according to Section 39 (2) InsO, are only satisfied after the claims listed in Section 39 (1) InsO . They are on the same level as profit participation certificates and, as mezzanine capital, come very close to equity .


Its interest rate is fixed for the entire term and can therefore be calculated in advance. The normal savings bond is bought at full face value . The interest is paid at the end of the year and is freely available. With discounted savings bonds, interest and compound interest are offset against the purchase price from the outset for the entire term, so that the purchase price is significantly below the nominal value. The savings bond with an annual increase in interest rates is usually a short-term investment, similar to the federal savings bond . After a short waiting period, it can be redeemed at any time at face value plus accrued interest. In contrast to exchange-oriented bonds , these papers are free of charge and can usually be lent to 100% of their lending value . The maturity scale extends up to ten years.


The usual savings (cash) letters and bonds are based on § 21 para. 2 bank Accounting Regulation (RechKredV) as "Liabilities to customers" passivated and unrecognized as savings deposits treated in accordance with § 21 para. 4 RechKredV. This also includes liabilities from registered bonds or order bonds that are not securities within the meaning of Section 7 RechKredV. Exceptionally , savings bonds issued as bearer paper are to be shown as "bonds issued". Subordinated letters are to be accounted for in liability item 9 if they can only be fulfilled as liabilities in the event of liquidation or insolvency after the claims of the other creditors ( Section 4 (1) RechKredV). Under the conditions of Art. 62 Capital Adequacy Ordinance (at least 5 years original term, subordination agreement), they may be shown as supplementary capital in the equity capital . The higher risk for the investor is expressed in a higher interest rate than with normal letters.

Legal security

According to Section 4 (2) No. 1 of the Deposit Protection and Investor Compensation Act (EAEG), deposits of up to € 100,000 have been secured since January 1, 2011, which are paid out in the event of compensation if a credit institution is not in a position under Section 5 EAEG To repay deposits. Deposits within the meaning of this law are credit balances with credit institutions that are to be repaid from amounts remaining in an account in the course of the business activities of an institution and on the basis of legal or contractual provisions. This also includes claims that the institute has securitized by issuing a certificate ( savings book , savings bond, savings bank letter), but not bearer and order bonds. However, savings bank bonds are also secured like savings bank letters due to the bank security of the savings banks, Landesbanken and Landesbausparkassen . This also applies to bearer bonds that are subject to the protection scheme of the Federal Association of German Volksbanks and Raiffeisenbanks . Both bank guarantees also guarantee an unlimited amount of deposit protection.


  • Wiesbadener Volksbank: Festschrift for the one hundred and fifty year anniversary. Wiesbaden 2010, p. 116.
  • Hans Pohl, Bernd Rudolph, Günther Schulz: Economic and social history of the German savings banks in the 20th century . Stuttgart 2005, ISBN 978-3-09-303000-0 , pp. 352-353 .
  • Bernhard Schramm : The Volksbanken and Raiffeisenbanken. Frankfurt am Main 1982, p. 85.

Individual evidence

  1. Melchior Palyi / Paul Quittner, Handwortbuch des Bankingwesens , 1933, p. 71
  2. ^ Karl-Friedrich Hagenmüller / Gerhard Diepen, Der Bankbetrieb , 1975, p. 256
  3. ^ Deutsche Bundesbank, Annual Report 1968 , p. 63
  4. ^ BGH WM 1987, 1038
  5. BGH WM 1992, 1522, 1523
  6. Hartmut Bieg, bank accounting according to HGB and IFRS , 2011, p. 276 f.