Sparda-Bank Hessen

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Sparda-Bank Hessen eG
Country GermanyGermany Germany
Seat Frankfurt am Main
legal form eG
Bank code 500 905 00
founding 2004 (merger)
Association Association of Sparda Banks eV
Business data 2019
Total assets EUR 7,076 million
insoles EUR 6,289 million
Customer credit EUR 3,004 million
Employee 433
Members 283,816
Board Markus Müller, chairman;
Michael Weidmann, Deputy Chairman
Rüdiger Orth
Supervisory board Rupert Bunk, chairman
List of cooperative banks in Germany
Business area

The Sparda Bank Hessen is a cooperative bank in the state of Hesse .


Sparda-Bank Hessen was created in July 2004 through the merger of Sparda-Bank Kassel with Sparda-Bank Frankfurt / Main.

Sparda-Bank Kassel

The Sparda-Bank Kassel was founded in 1897 by members of the "Railway Association" in Kassel, also here as the "Railway Savings and Loan Fund" in order to "promote the economic situation of its members by accumulating savings and granting loans".

Sparda-Bank Frankfurt / Main

From the foundation to the First World War

The Sparda-Bank Frankfurt / Main was registered on April 1, 1903 in the Royal Prussian Railway Directorate in Frankfurt at Hedderichstrasse 25 as a "savings and advance payment association of railway officials and workers in the railway district Frankfurt am Main with limited liability in Frankfurt am Main “was founded. The driving force behind the establishment was senior government councilor Paul Meyer, who became the bank's first chairman of the supervisory board.

This was preceded by a “justifying meeting” on February 20, 1903. At this eight-member board of directors and a twelve-member supervisory board were elected. On June 6, 1903, the entry was made in the Frankfurt cooperative register under number 46. The entry was made as a "Railway Savings and Loan Fund" to avoid confusion with the Railway Savings Bank, which had existed since 1890. This was only open to railway officials, not to workers. The elitist approach of the Sparkasse was also reflected in the fact that the share cost 100 gold marks. The Eisenbahnersparkasse lost many members after it was founded and went down in the turmoil of inflation.

The Sparda, however, grew rapidly. On March 31, 1904 there were 2,612, in 1907 3,400 and at the end of 1913 already 6,119 members. Deposits and loans rose accordingly. In 1913 savings deposits exceeded 500,000 marks for the first time.

World War I and inflation

The beginning of the First World War was enthusiastically supported by the railway workers. A large part of the members and the board of directors served at the front. Due to the war, the railway industry took off, and deposits continued to grow accordingly. In line with the patriotic mood, the bank subscribed over 400,000 marks in war bonds until 1918 . This cluster risk was compounded as the bank granted loans to members for war bonds in 1919 as collateral.

The inflation devalued these deposits as well as other loans granted. With the currency reform , all the bank's assets were consumed. The opening balance of January 1, 1924 showed a fortune of just 110 gold marks. The old shares were devalued to 0 marks, the members had to subscribe to new shares. These cost 10 gold marks with an entrance fee of 50 pfennigs. The new beginning succeeded. In 1930 the bank had 19,000 members, twice as many as at the end of 1919.

A challenge for the bank was the revaluation of the old debts, which was decreed by two Reich laws in June 1925: old debts before the currency reform now had to be paid 25% in the new currency. The problem for Sparda was that only 5% of the national debt had to be paid. This was only partially successful.

Weimar Republic and the time of National Socialism

During the Great Depression, the number of members fell to 13,000 by 1932. However, the bank was not badly affected by the banking crisis. The indicator for this was the growth in savings deposits from 2.2 million RM in 1929 to 3.2 million in 1932.

Since the general assembly on April 25, 1931, the name of the bank has been "Reichsbahn-Spar- und Kreditkasse Frankfurt (Main)". After this renaming, “Sparda” was also used as an internal name for the first time. In 1932 the representative assembly passed a new statute.

Joining the Reichsverkehrsbank in 1932 was essential for the further fate of the bank . This now handled all monetary transactions and assumed central bank functions.

In 1931/32 a closer connection to the Reichsbahn was implemented. The cash register became a so-called lifting point and in this function collected membership and insurance contributions. This concerned the railway associations, railway workers' unions, railway house fire supply and railway agriculture, railway death benefit funds, insurance association of German railway employees, German civil service insurance and the Iduna life insurance . These contributions were previously deducted from the wages by the Reichsbahn. By outsourcing this move, the Reichsbahn saved administrative costs in payroll accounting. From Sparda's point of view, this meant an additional argument in favor of recruiting members. In return, there were higher administrative expenses. As a result, the number of employees rose to 21 by the end of 1932 and business costs rose to 1.76% of total assets.

When the National Socialists came to power , there were only minor changes in personnel. The board members who had been in office since the 1920s remained in their function. In 1934 the Reichsbahnamtmann Heinrich Weber was added to the board. In 1945 he was dismissed as a "party member". In the supervisory board, the employee representative Jakob Zissel was dismissed as part of the coordination .

In October 1935 the bank moved to the "Presidential Building" of the Reichsbahndirektion at the Hohenzollern facility (today: Friedrich-Ebert-Anlage ).

In economic terms, things picked up sharply in the following years. The number of employees rose to 51 by 1939. Personnel expenses rose even more. In 1932, 2,300 Reichsmarks were spent per employee, in 1939 it was just under 3,000 Reichsmarks.

The mechanization that had already begun at the end of the 1920s was continued in the 1930s. In 1934, the third balancing booking machine and, for the first time, a fully automatic booking machine and an Adrema system with 38,000 plates were purchased at a cost of RM 32,000 in order to effectively fulfill the function as a lifting point.

The decentralized structure of the Sparda banks stood in clear contrast to the National Socialist ideology of strong centralized control and the leadership principle . Even if the individual Sparda banks formally retained their independence, they were consistently standardized and centralized.

The one instrument for this was the auditing association (from 1936: "Auditing Association of the Reichsbahn-Spar- und Loankassen eV"). At the end of 1933, this provided a uniform chart of accounts and a uniform balance sheet structure. The regular controls by the association ensured a uniform business policy. The second instrument was the Reichsverkehrsbank. This had already taken over the payment transactions in the Weimar Republic . Now she also took over the securities and investments of the Sparda banks. All excess deposits were invested with the Reichsverkehrsbank, which centrally controlled the use of funds.

The number of Reichsbahn employees rose sharply during the National Socialist era . The number of members of Sparda developed accordingly. In 1933 there were 15,000 members, in 1945 the number had grown to 25,000. The balance sheet total had also risen sharply. In 1932 it was 3.5, in 1939 10 and in 1945 over 50 million Reichsmarks.

In World War II , the Sparda Frankfurt was severely affected. Due to the war, the last annual report was published in 1942 with a length of only 4 pages; none was produced in the following years. The last meeting of representatives took place on March 24, 1943, from 1944 the audits were also dropped. However, payments were made until March / April 1945.

On February 1, 1943, the business was relocated to Friedberg to protect it from destruction in the bombing war . The measure was in vain: the bank building was completely destroyed in a bomb attack on January 22, 1945. The chairman of the board, Reichsbahnamtmann Wiederstein, was dead and several employees were seriously injured. Most of the bank's records were destroyed.

New beginning after 1945

On June 1, 1945, the new opening took place at Moselstrasse 2. On January 1, 1946, the Friedberg branch also resumed work with 12 employees.

The supervisory board member Franz Ebenau was appointed as provisional chairman of the board. Heinrich Weber had been removed from the board because of his NSDAP membership, the goods floor worker Valentin Servatius resigned from the board “of his own accord”.

This meant that only two experienced board members remained in office: Reichsbahnobersekretär August Staab (board member since 1926) and Reichsbahn assistant Karl Laberenz (board member since 1932). Staab was released by the occupation authorities in November 1945 and Laberenz in March 1946. After denazification , Staab returned to the executive board in the summer of 1947 and Laberenz on July 29, 1948. Jakob Zissel was appointed Chairman of the Supervisory Board on September 24, 1945.

The bank was nearing its end financially. On April 28, 1945 the Reichsverkehrsbank, which had its seat in Berlin-Mitte , so the SBZ had been temporarily closed by the SMAD and on June 28, 1945 finally. All deposits were expropriated. Sparda's credit there was 46 million Reichsmarks.

In order to ensure operation, the Sparda received from November 1945 injections of liquidity from the Deutsche Verkehrs-Kreditbank , which totaled 8.2 million Reichsmarks.

Since the Reichsverkehrsbank was registered with the Charlottenburg registry court (i.e. in West Berlin ), it was retained as a legal personality and was able to resume operations as the central bank of the Sparda banks, even if the assets in the east were lost.

On October 1, 1946, the Sparda Frankfurt moved to the industrial building on Taunusstrasse of the Reichsbahn. The situation had stabilized to such an extent that the first representatives' meeting after the war took place on October 25, 1947.

Economic boom

With the currency reform (as already after the inflation of the 1920s) was accompanied by an adjustment of assets and liabilities. The balance sheet total shrank to 3 million DM in the opening balance sheet . At the same time, the currency reform gave the starting signal for the economic miracle . The Sparda now also grew at a rapid pace. At the end of 1955 the balance sheet total had risen to 25 million DM, in 1970 182 million DM were reported. The lending business in particular contributed to growth. Financing the reconstruction initially prevented customers from building up large savings. The refinancing of the loans was carried out via the sight deposits on the current accounts, which further formed the pillar of the bank's deposit business.

The Reichsbahn became the Deutsche Bundesbahn. Accordingly, in December 1950, the representatives' meeting changed the name of the bank to "Eisenbahn Spar- und Kreditkasse Frankfurt / M" and dropped the "Reich".

The number of members also increased significantly. In 1949 there were around 30,000 members, in 1955 there were already 40,000. The growth also led to an increase in the number of employees and new investments in booking technology. In 1951/52 new Adrema and booking machines were purchased. In 1960 the job market was swept clean. The increased business volume had to be dealt with with fewer employees. A Post-Tronic booking machine that worked with magnetic cards was purchased as a solution .

The build-up of equity did not keep pace with the increased credit volume. The equity ratio fell from 6.4% in 1951 to 3.4% in 1961. Customer confidence did not suffer as a result. Since 1951, Sparda had been a member of the "Guarantee Fund of the Association of Railway Savings and Loan Funds eV", an early deposit insurance fund . In addition, since the Great Depression in 1931, the Reichsbahn had issued a (subordinate) guarantee for all deposits, which was taken over by the Bundesbahn after the war.

In June 1953, the bank moved into 700 square meters in the restored building of the Frankfurt Federal Railway Directorate on the Friedrich-Ebert-Anlage. After just a few years, however, these areas were no longer sufficient. Frankfurter Sparda was the first Sparda bank to move into its own building on November 15, 1967. This was built from 1965 to 1967 on Güterplatz. The Sparda initially used the two lower floors with 1525 square meters and rented the upper four back to the bank.

Opening for non-railroad employees and development of the branch network

With the rise of private transport, the importance of the railways and with it the number of employees of the Deutsche Bundesbahn declined. In the spring of 1969, the Association of Sparda Banks decided on a recommendation to open it up to public service employees. On May 7, 1969, the representative assembly approved this recommendation. However, this strategy was initially implemented only hesitantly. A maximum of 30% of the members should be non-railway employees. The share of this customer group was only 1.3% in 1975. In 1980 it was 6.5% and in 1990 35.4%. The other Sparda banks had implemented this more aggressively. Frankfurter Sparda was always the second largest Sparda bank until 1970, and in 1990 it was only the seventh largest. It didn't help that the bank opened to all workers and employees in May 1975.

Nevertheless, the bank continued to grow. On December 19, 1972 the 50,000 member was welcomed, in 1990 60,000 members were counted. The establishment of a branch network from 1979 contributed to this. In July 1979 the first branch was opened in the railroad settlement in Frankfurt-Nied . In 1980 the Wiesbaden branch of the Allgemeine Beamtenbank was taken over . From 1982 "consultation days" were held in Darmstadt, Gießen, Hanau and Limburg. The Giessen branch was opened in July 1984, the Darmstadt branch in June 1986, the Limburg branch in May 1988 and the Hanau branch in April 1989. In the 1990s more were added until 15 branches were reached. The balance sheet total exceeded DM 500 million in 1978 and DM 1 billion in 1985.

The opening of the bank should also be reflected in the bank's name. On May 8, 1978, the board's proposal to rename the company did not yet receive the necessary three-quarters majority. On May 21, 1979, the meeting of representatives decided to rename the company on January 1, 1980 to "Sparda-Bank Frankfurt (Main) eG".

Business data

Sparda-Bank Hessen has total assets of EUR 7.076 billion and has 283,816 members. The bank has 36 branches and 27 self-service points (as of December 31, 2019). The following are named by the bank as subsidiaries with a stake of 100 percent each: Deutsche Privatfinanz AG , ICS IT & Consulting Services GmbH , SpardaDirekt Hessen GmbH . In the list of cooperative banks, Sparda-Bank Hessen ranks 14th among the 839 institutes.

The cooperative bank is guided by its sponsorship mandate and donates more than 1.5 million euros annually to voluntary clubs, organizations and associations from the funds of its profit-saving association.

In the banking benchmarking victor 2011, Sparda-Bank Hessen was chosen as the winner in two categories: “ corporate culture ” and “leadership”.

See also

Web links


  • Dieter Hein: In the train of time: The Sparda-Bank Frankfurt am Main 1903-2003
  • Rainer Olten: 100 years of Sparda-Bank Kassel eG: loyal to the principles and open to the future. From the Eisenbahn-Spar- und Kreditkasse eGmbH to a modern service company . ISBN 3-9253-3332-0 .

Individual evidence

  1. a b Master data of the credit institute at the Deutsche Bundesbank
  2. a b Annual Report 2019
  3. a b History of the Sparda-Bank Hessen
  4. according to the final Reichsmark balance of June 20, 1948
  5. Ranking list 2019

Coordinates: 50 ° 6 ′ 34.8 "  N , 8 ° 39 ′ 15.7"  E