Savings bank

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Business areas of the savings banks and savings bank associations in Germany (Sept. 2019)

Unions are usually non-profit public universal banks in municipal sponsorship . There are also five independent savings banks in non-municipal sponsorship, which are also committed to charitable status.

Word origin

The compound word "Sparkasse" can be traced back to the 18th century and meant a "public institution for the storage of savings with interest payments". The combination of the words “ save ” (do not consume completely ) and “ cash register ” (lockable container for money) indicates their original task of receiving savings deposits by paying cash into the cash register .


Its legal task is to offer broad sections of the population opportunities to invest money, to carry out payment transactions and to satisfy the local credit needs of their customers, to maintain the population's sense of economy and to promote cashless payment transactions .

Savings banks are therefore universal banks, they are allowed to conduct all banking transactions with all customer groups. It also distinguishes its branch network , which makes it branch banks . Public savings banks differ from other banks in that they are run by a local authority . Your business area is limited to the territory of the local authority. Savings banks are also committed to the principle of non-profit making.

Savings banks in Germany

In Germany, Sparkassen and Landesbanken represent a financial pillar in the three-pillar model of the financial sector . The Sparkassen-Finanzgruppe achieves high market shares in many business areas of the financial services industry , in particular due to its high local presence and product bundling, and in some areas (customer savings) it is even the market leader . Here, the Hamburger Sparkasse with total assets of over € 38 billion, the largest savings bank in front of the Sparkasse Cologne Bonn with about € 29 billion and the Kreissparkasse Köln with over € 24 billion.

The public-law savings banks in Germany form part of the banking group of public-law credit institutions and are combined in the German Savings Banks and Giro Association , which was founded in December 1884 . It is an interest group and, as an umbrella organization, consists in particular of the regional savings and giro associations, to which the respective savings banks belong. For the free savings banks there is the Association of German Free Public Savings Banks in Germany .


While there were still 769 savings banks with 19,036 branches in December 1990, their number shrank to 624 / 19,071 through mergers in 1995, 562 / 16,892 in 2000, 429 / 13,025 in 2010 and 416 / 11,951 in 2014. The shrinking process is mainly due to savings bank mergers and intensifies the trend at the expense of small savings banks and in favor of the formation of large savings banks, which - measured in terms of business volume - are reaching the size of large banks . By the end of 2016, the number of savings banks in Germany had been reduced to 398 through further mergers.

The consolidation is accompanied by a reduction in staff. At the end of 2010, the savings banks still had just under 250,000 employees, 17,000 fewer than 7 years earlier.

year 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
Number of savings banks 477 463 457 446 438 431 429 423 422 416 417 413 403 385
Employee 265,415 260,825 257.022 253,696 251,400 249,577 248.137 244,862 234,340 225,000 230.213 233,742 224,700 209,588



Account book of the savings and orphanage fund Salem from 1882

When the first savings bank was created in Germany is a matter of dispute. The first, related forerunners of the savings banks were still called " orphan funds " or "loan funds ", such as the fund set up in 1749 by the Reichsabtei Salem to manage orphan's pensions. Savings banks mostly emerged in the 18th century to give the poorer sections of the population a secure opportunity to put aside the smallest capital deposits for risk prevention in old age or in the event of illness.

The Hanau lending bank (founded on April 10, 1738 by Landgrave Wilhelm VIII ), the Württembergische Waisenkasse in Roth (1746 by Anselm II. Schwab ), the Brunswick- Ducal pawnshop (founded in March 1765 " under sovereign guarantee ”), the - still existing - Fürstlich Castell'sche Credit-Casse (1774) or the Fürstliche Leihkasse in Detmold (1786), the latter with a focus on a real estate credit institution .

The Oldenburger Ersparungscasse from 1786 was for a long time the oldest existing savings bank in the world, the founding deed of which was signed on August 1, 1786; it went on in the Landessparkasse zu Oldenburg .

According to modern understanding, the first savings bank is the “savings class” of the Hamburg General Pension Fund, established in 1778 by the Hamburg “Patriotic Society for the Promotion of the Arts and Education” . She also gave to the servants , day laborers and sailors savings accounts , so that "ordinary people" could invest their savings safely and at interest.

First municipal institute

In June 1801 the Spar- und Leih-Casse Göttingen was the first municipal credit institute to start work. In the following years, a large number of the citizens' savings banks became the responsibility of the municipalities. The town ordinance of Heinrich Friedrich Karl vom und zum Stein of November 19, 1808 ensured local self-government , which led to the communities taking up the communal savings bank idea and initiating the establishment of savings banks. In May 1818, the Württembergische Spar-Casse was founded in Stuttgart for the whole Kingdom of Württemberg , followed by the Berliner Sparkasse in June 1818 . In January 1819, the first savings bank in Saxony was founded in Königsbrück at the instigation and with the financial participation of Conference Minister Peter Karl Wilhelm von Hohenthal .

The first urban savings banks in the Kingdom of Bavaria were established in Nuremberg (November 1821), Augsburg (February 1822) and Würzburg (October 1822). According to the “revised city regulations” of March 17, 1831, the establishment of savings banks required the approval of the district president , because the acceptance of savings deposits was considered to be a loan from the respective sponsoring municipality requiring approval .

After the Prussian Savings Banks Regulations were enacted on December 12, 1838, the period between 1840 and 1860 was the most intensive period in which savings banks were founded, as more than 800 new savings banks were established during this period. In 1838 there were 85 public savings banks in Prussia, in 1850 their number increased to 234, in 1870 they had grown to 932, in Germany as a whole there were 2,500 savings banks at the turn of the century.

Savings Bank Act

Of the 86 savings banks that existed in 1838, 81 had public-law institutions. In order to create a homogeneous legal basis for these regionally active savings banks, the idea of ​​the savings bank laws came up in 1838 . The reason for this, however, was initially not the standardization of savings bank law, but rather doubts as to whether the savings bank books issued by the savings banks were not subject to royal approval as bearer papers based on a law passed in June 1833. On December 12, 1838, the “Regulations concerning the establishment of the savings bank system” were finally adopted, which in particular contained regulations for the administration of the savings banks and the security of savings. This savings bank law is the first German regulation of a group of institutions within the framework of banking law .

The first pfennig savings bank was established in Darmstadt in 1880 . In the Prussian Guardianship Ordinance , passed in July 1875 , the legislature first spoke of “public savings banks”. However, it was not until July 1900 that a joint decree by the Prussian Minister of the Interior and Justice clarified that “public savings banks are only to be understood as those which are either operated for the account of a corporation under public law or for their liabilities a corporation under public law Has taken over the guarantee ".

Institutions under public law

Through the 3rd Reich Emergency Ordinance of October 6, 1931 ("Ordinance for Securing Economy and Finances"), the savings banks and giro centers obtained their independence during the German banking crisis through the legal form of an institution under public law . The guarantor liability also had its origin in this Reich Emergency Ordinance . The reason for the introduction of the guarantor liability was that the creditors should not lose the communal liability for the liabilities of the Sparkasse by making the savings banks independent . As long as the savings banks were an organizational part of the municipalities, the municipalities were liable for these liabilities.

National Socialism

The savings banks were legally equated with the banks for the first time through the Banking Act of December 1934. The will to save among the population is to be strengthened so that armaments and warfare can be financially secured and currency devaluation remains invisible. The association of savings banks and cooperative banks merged in 1935 as "economic group Sparkassen" and brought into line . The savings banks were also involved in race policy, which concerned the employment of Jews and the expropriation of Jewish assets. After 1938, Jewish savings accounts were kept, frozen and closed in special custody accounts, and the deposits were transferred to the Reichsbank in Berlin.

post war period

After the Second World War , the history of the savings banks in the GDR separated from that in West Germany . In the GDR, the still existing savings banks were assigned their customers and received all savings accounts from the central bank in January 1951; in January 1952 the central bank gave them sole responsibility for the account management of micro-enterprises with up to 10 employees; In return, they had to transfer all accounts of public bodies and larger companies to the central bank.

The “Order on the financing of the purchase of furniture and other durable goods”, which came into force on October 16, 1953, enabled a real installment loan . Since October 1956 the trade itself has been allowed to sell certain goods by paying in installments. As part of an administrative reform in 1952, the number of GDR savings banks rose to 198; it remained relatively stable at 196 until reunification . In March 1956, the state-owned savings banks were given a uniform statute.

When in July 1958 the license requirement for the opening of branches in West Germany no longer existed, the savings banks developed into branch banks with an extensive branch network . The effects of the administrative and regional reform in 1965 led to an intensification phase of branch operations at the savings banks. The reform-related savings bank mergers left the branch development trend almost unaffected. There was a second wave of branch network expansions in Germany from 1967.

The invention of the ATM made the important branch function of cash management largely obsolete in the following years. The first ATM was put into operation in Germany on May 27, 1968 by the Kreissparkasse Tübingen , but this innovation spread relatively slowly.

Financial innovations in the savings bank sector include the acquisition loan (1961), the check card and the savings bank letter (August 1967), the overdraft facility (September 1968) and the savings bank bond (1970).

Financial crisis

As a result of the financial crisis from 2007 , the savings banks had to make higher contributions through the liability association of the Sparkassen-Finanzgruppe , which put few small savings banks in distress.



Savings banks operate the deposit and loan business , securities business , payment transactions and are mostly the house banks of their public institutions. They carry out these tasks in the public interest , which requires consideration of the common good . They conduct their business on the basis of a public mandate and the principle of non-profit making .

Your public contract is to supply the business area of monetary and credit economic benefits, savings and general wealth creation and to promote for the population and for the SME sector services to be provided.

The principle of non-profitability has always set the savings banks apart from the other banks, which are geared towards maximizing profits . According to the articles of association, maximum profit is not at the fore of corporate policy ; reasonable profit is sufficient. “Making a profit is not the main purpose of doing business”. The use of generated profits is regulated differently in the regional savings bank laws. In most cases, any profit that has been made, provided it does not remain with the Sparkasse as a result of the increase in the security reserve, is made available directly by the Sparkasse in its own decision for tax-reducing charitable purposes; surpluses are only distributed to the sponsor in exceptional cases.

Many savings banks have also set up foundations that promote charitable purposes. In the event of a conflict of objectives , the public mandate has priority.

Savings banks must also observe the regional principle that requires them to conduct banking business only in the precisely defined region of the respective institution.

Use of annual surpluses

The public service obligation , which most savings banks want to fulfill through tax-reducing voluntary donations and sponsorship , is interpreted by critics of the savings banks' practice as an obligation to support the owners, i.e. the public budgets, for non-profit purposes , which corresponds to the legal basis.

The investigative research network Correctiv reports that in 2013 and 2014, two-thirds of the savings banks did not distribute their annual surpluses to their owners . In 2014, surpluses of 1.9 billion euros were achieved. Only 14% of this was paid to the respective institution. The criticism by the Lower Saxony State Audit Office led to broad media coverage.

In Düsseldorf at the beginning of 2017, the mayor, as the first head of the board of directors in Germany, filed a lawsuit against the Sparkasse CEO, Arndt Hallmann, at the Sparkasse supervision. The agreement stipulates that the Sparkasse will give five percent of the profit before taxes and other transfers to the communal owner annually, plus half of all unscheduled surpluses.

One of the main reasons for the banks' reluctance to pay dividends to the municipalities was seen in the fact that the remuneration of the board members could be reduced by between 300,000 euros and one million by changing the calculation basis. Lord Mayor Thomas Geisel (SPD) ensured that the Sparkasse , which in his opinion was overinsured, paid out 26 million euros of the almost 140 million euros it earned in 2014, 14 million in 2017.

It was also criticized that the Sparkasse board of directors could significantly reduce the scope for distributions of the board of directors through provisions and reserves . Geisel demanded a "comprehensible profitability analysis".

Rainer Gottwald examined all Bavarian savings banks and came to the conclusion that despite the equity capital rules for banks and the State Savings Bank Act, reserves of 2.4 billion euros could have been distributed for 2014.


The donation practice of the savings banks is partly criticized because it leads to the formation of dependencies between the recipients and the savings bank. When it comes to the awarding practice, the Sparkasse Board of Directors alone decides on the use, less the municipality as the owner of the Sparkasse. The secrecy, the allocation of donations to non-profit organizations, the cross-financing of political candidates and the conflicts of interest in personal connections are also criticized . Donations often seem to hide marketing efforts. In a survey by correctiv in 2016, only 32 of 403 savings banks published a list of their donation recipients, although public institutions must provide information according to the Freedom of Information Act. In 2014, all Bavarian savings banks were checked for improper donations, sponsorship and customer events, such as the financing of improper expenses for local politicians.

Savings promotion

The savings banks are tasked with promoting saving. It is criticized that saving is hardly worthwhile and especially the small savers hardly achieve a return. The attempt by savings banks to terminate savings contracts that were no longer profitable for them was also controversial.

Loans for the middle class

Savings banks are to provide their own customers with loans in particular, including local and regional small and medium-sized companies . As a result of the financial crisis, however, some of these loans are only granted on difficult terms, especially for young companies.

Legal issues

legal form

With the exception of the free savings banks organized as stock corporations , the public-law savings banks have the legal form of an institution under public law , with which the structural features of institutional liability and guarantor liability are generally associated. Support of public financial institutions are municipal authorities , such as cities , towns or counties or municipal Sparkassenzweckverband as a merger of several local authorities. Often the name already indicates the communal carrier, e.g. B. Stadt Sparkasse, Kreis Sparkasse or District Sparkasse. In the case of the municipal association, it is then an association savings bank . Sometimes, however, the owner cannot be read from their name, as is the case with the Kreissparkasse Köln , which is actually a special purpose association, especially since there is no longer a district of Cologne.

Banking and governing bodies

Savings banks are credit institutions within the meaning of Section 1 (1) KWG that are permitted to conduct all of the banking transactions listed there. The legal basis for the establishment and operation are also the Sparkasse Act of the respective federal state in which the Sparkasse has its registered office and a statute issued by the institution . The organs of a savings bank are the board of directors as the managing body and the administrative board as the supervisory body. In some federal states, a credit committee must also be set up for certain credit decisions . In the Savings Banks Act for Baden-Württemberg, the credit committee is designed as a separate body alongside the board of directors and the administrative board.

Trademark protection

The term Sparkasse is legally protected in Germany according to § 40 KWG and in Austria according to § 94 (BWG). The trademark owner German Savings Bank Association (DSGV) announced on February 7, 2002 as a collective mark the featureless color mark no. 30211120 "Red" ( HKS 13 ) for the services in Class 36 " Finance " and secured them since July 11, 2007 as a traffic enforced symbol. The Federal Court of Justice (BGH) decided in this color dispute between the DSGV and the Santander Consumer Bank (Germany) (which used the similar-looking red HKS 14 ) that if the traffic due to labeling habits in the relevant goods or service sector to the use of Colors is used as a means of identification or if the color emerges in the context of all other elements in such a way that the target audience understands it as a product label, it can exceptionally be assumed that it is used as a brand and gave priority to “Sparkasse red”.

Logo and corporate design

The Sparkasse logo in Germany

The logo is a stylized form of the letter S and a money box with coin represents. Designed was there. In its first form in 1938 by Louis Gaigg, a little-known poster artist The later trademark was only used by Sparkassenverlag for internal purposes and was therefore unknown to the general public. From 1948 onwards, the symbol was also used by most of the savings banks to the public and, due to the outstanding market position of the savings banks, it soon became a well-known symbol of the savings banks.

In 1972 Otl Aicher developed a uniform visual appearance ( corporate design ) for all savings banks. He gave the logo its current form, without the slot shown up until then, and defined the red color ( HKS 13 ) as the uniform business color (until then, black was mostly common). He chose Helvetica as the corporate font . In 2003 the appearance developed by Aicher was modified, whereby the previous font was also changed. The symbol is protected by trademark worldwide by the German Savings Banks and Giro Association . In 2007 the savings banks' red color was registered as a trademark at the German Patent and Trademark Office . The DSGV is the legal owner of all national and international collective brands of the Sparkassen-Finanzgruppe in its capacity as a brand association .

In 2010, 93% of the population recognized the well-known symbol and assigned it to the savings banks. The Sparkassen-S is one of the most popular trademarks in Germany. A large majority of Germans also understand the color red in the financial sector as a characteristic of the savings banks.

A few savings banks for a long time still refused the uniform appearance of the Sparkassen-Finanzgruppe. The Frankfurter Sparkasse from 1822 used the beehive until the merger in 1989 and the colors blue / yellow until around 2006, the Stadtsparkasse Köln used its own logo design made up of the letters S and K , which was in shades of blue , until the merger with the Sparkasse Bonn , Taunus Sparkasse used a logo with dice, Stadtsparkasse München used the Sparkassen S in yellow for a long time, Sparkasse Essen in green / blue and Sparkasse Kiel in blue. Until January 2015, Nassauische Sparkasse used its own corporate identity with a blue-orange color scheme and other fonts . In northern Germany, the old logo with the slot was retained until the late 1970s.

Institutional burden and guarantor liability

After the Association of German Banks had lodged a complaint with the competition authority of the European Commission in December 1999 and assumed that the guarantor liability constituted prohibited state aid according to Art. 107 (1) TFEU , the competition authority opened a formal one on January 26, 2001 Investigation procedure. The longstanding disputes were finally settled by a decision of the European Commission on March 27, 2002 addressed to the Federal Republic of Germany. The federal government adopted this decision on April 11, 2002. The agreement reached on July 17, 2001 between the European Commission and Germany and the conclusions drawn from it on February 28, 2002 by both sides are taken into account. The key points of this Brussels Concordance were the elimination of institutional burden and guarantor liability at savings banks and Landesbanken. The German federal and state-owned development banks, on the other hand, have been allowed to retain Anstaltslast, guarantor liability and / or state refinancing guarantees within the framework of Understanding II since April 11, 2002 .

Deposit insurance

The Deposit Protection and Investor Compensation Act (EAEG) initially provides for a statutory deposit protection that covers all credit institutions within the scope of the EAEG. According to Section 4 (2) No. 1 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 able to repay deposits under Section 5 EAEG. All investors in public savings banks benefit from this statutory minimum income. In addition, there is a voluntary deposit guarantee at public-law savings banks, which is guaranteed by the institute guarantee of the savings banks, Landesbanken and Landesbausparkassen . According to § 12 EAEG, it is recognized as institutional security and is therefore not subject to the other regulations of the EAEG. All public-law savings banks belong to this institute protection, which offers an unlimited amount of deposit protection.

Savings Banks Associations

Sparkasse building in Recklinghausen
Sparkasse Barnim in
Eberswalde in Brandenburg

The public savings banks and their respective owners are members of one of the twelve regional savings and giro associations in the legal form of a public corporation . Through their membership in the respective regional association, they are indirectly members of the Deutscher Sparkassen- und Giroverband e. V. (DSGV) based in Berlin, the umbrella association of all German savings banks, state banks and state building societies ( list of savings banks ). The regional savings bank associations and the DSGV provide central services for their members such as joint marketing, advisory services, representation in central associations or the development of joint business concepts. The five free savings banks have joined forces in the Association of German Free Public Savings Banks , which is an extraordinary member of the DSGV.


In Austria , savings banks are private-law credit institutions established by municipalities or savings banks associations within the meaning of the Austrian Banking Act (BWG), which are subject to a nationwide uniform savings bank law. The term Sparkasse is legally protected in Germany according to § 40 KWG and in Austria according to § 94 (BWG). The savings bank group Austria consists of the Erste Bank , the 47 federal state savings banks and the second Wiener Vereins-Sparcasse ( the second savings bank ). All savings banks in Austria and their regional associations are members of the Austrian Savings Bank Association .


As the first savings bank in Austria, Johann Baptist Weber, pastor in Vienna's Leopoldstadt, founded the association of the First Austrian Spar-Casse , which opened its counters for the first time on October 4, 1819. In 1822, the Sparkasse zu Innsbruck was founded as the second savings bank in Austria. In the next few years numerous association and later also community savings banks were founded. The youngest savings bank in Austria is the Second Wiener Vereins-Sparcasse, founded in 2006 .

Current logo of Erste Bank and the savings banks in Austria

In Austria , the savings bank logo (in the unmodified version) is currently still used by the member banks of the Austrian savings bank group. The best-known representative of this group is Erste Bank , which also uses the Sparkassen-S in the logos of its Southeast European subsidiaries (for example Erste Bank Croatia or Banca Comerciala Romana ). There is a license agreement with the German Savings Banks and Giro Association for use until 2019 .


A few savings banks were founded in some Swiss cantons during the Ancien Régime . The great upswing in the savings bank system did not take place until the 19th century, after the liberal upheaval and during industrialization. The motivation was, on the one hand, the interest-generating investment of savings of a broader population, and on the other hand, the lending of this money to traders and agriculture; These economic circles were able to increase their economic performance with amounts of money that they could not have raised with their own resources. The savings bank essence thus acted as the commercial growth engine of industrialization, with a relatively important area of ​​activity also being mortgage loans. The main legal forms to be found were municipal state foundations and cooperatives. Most of these institutes still exist today - mostly under different company names and under the more modern categorization of banks . The mortgage loan for house building has meanwhile become the most important active business. The most famous institute is probably the Association of Raiffeisen Banks with its many individual banks in smaller villages. There are also around 60 regional banks and savings banks as well as 24 cantonal banks , all of which operate in the same market segment.

In Switzerland, the cantonal banks are associated with the savings bank system.


The savings bank model is now widespread in 86 countries. In Italy, all shares in savings banks ( Italian cassa di risparmio ) held by local authorities had to be transferred to foundations.


The Banka e Kursimeve e Shqipërisë (Savings Bank of Albania) was founded in 2004 by the Austrian Raiffeisen International acquired 100%.

Bosnia and Herzegovina

The Sparkasse Bank dd BiH has been on the BiH financial market for 10 years. The head office is located in the state capital Sarajevo. Since 2007 she has been a member of the Austrian Steiermärkische Sparkasse group . The credit institute operated under the name ABS BANKA until 2009, when the decision was finally made to change the name to Sparkasse Bank dd for better integration into the Sparkasse Group .


In Finland there are 39 savings banks in the legal form of a foundation with 213 branches, 1,130 employees and a total balance sheet total of 4,447 million euros (as of December 31, 2004). Savings banks have not been represented nationwide in Finland since the banking crisis in the early 1990s. With the re-establishment of the Nooa Savings Bank in 2003, there is again a savings bank in the capital Helsinki. The central institute of the savings banks has been Aktia Savings Bank plc since 1995, which was created in 1991 from the merger of the Sparkasse von Helsinki with seven other savings banks. Aktia was converted into a public limited company (plc.) In 1993 .


In 1818 the first French savings bank ( French caisse d'épargne ) was founded in Paris, the Caisse d'épargne . After many mergers, there are now only 17 savings banks in France. The French savings bank group merged in 2009 with Groupe Banque Populaire (French Volksbanks) to form Groupe BPCE .


Until the 1990s, most of the savings banks in Italy were active as foundations . In the course of a nationwide consolidation in the banking sector, most of the savings banks were converted into stock corporations. While the foundations remained as holding companies, a merger fever set in among the banks, in which savings banks ( Italian Cassa di Risparmio ), Volksbanks ( Italian Banca Popolare ) and commercial banks merged. The last common link is the savings bank association ACRI ( Italian Associazione delle Casse di Risparmio e delle Fondazioni di Origine Bancaria ).

The Südtiroler Sparkasse remained unaffected by the merger fever, but has expanded its business area to other areas outside of South Tyrol.


In Luxembourg , the State Bank and State Savings Bank Banque et Caisse d'Epargne de l'Etat (BCEE) was established by law of February 21, 1856 by Grand Duke William III. initially founded as the Caisse d'Epargne de l'Etat du Grand-Duché de Luxembourg.


The savings bank system in Norway is split into two camps. On the one hand, Sparebanken NOR is active on the market, but in 2004 it merged with DnB to form the largest bank in the country. On the other hand, there is a group of regional savings banks that appear nationwide under the name SpareBank1 .


The savings bank in Poland was founded at the instigation of Józef Piłsudski in 1919 as Pocztowa Kasa Oszczędności (Postal Savings Bank). Today it operates under the name PKO BP , which stands for Powszechna Kasa Oszczędności Bank Polski (General Savings Bank - Polish Bank). Until 2004 the company was fully state-owned, in 2006 the Polish state still owned 51.51 percent of the shares.


The state-owned savings bank of Portugal is Caixa Geral de Depósitos, founded in 1876 .


The state-owned savings bank in Russia was founded in 1841. Since 1991 it has been operating as a joint stock company under the name Сбербанк России ( Sberbank - in German 'Sparbank'). In the vernacular, however, it is still called Сберкасса (Sberkassa).


The Slovenská sporiteľňa (Slovak Savings Bank) is owned by Austrian Erste Bank . As in the Czech Republic, the Austrian Sparkassen-S is also used.


Branch of the Caixa Manlleu in Sabadell (2006)

The savings bank system in Spain was originally organized regionally, so that a cash register ( Spanish Caja , Basque : Kutxa , Catalan and Galician : Caixa ) usually bore the name of a city or an area. However, at the end of the 20th century, numerous savings banks opened branches in other areas.

As in Germany, the Spanish savings banks were organized under public law and some of them worked without the pursuit of profit. In the course of the financial crisis from 2007 and the bursting of the Spanish real estate bubble , numerous smaller and larger Spanish savings banks ran into difficulties. In 2010 a merger process began, in the course of which various savings banks transferred their business to specially created banks and only retained the non-profit part of their duties.

Most of the savings banks belong to the Confederación Española de Cajas de Ahorros (CECA) association. Before the merger process, 45 savings banks were members of the CECA (as of December 31, 2009). The largest savings banks in Spain were La Caixa , in the autonomous community of Catalonia , and Caja Madrid (now Bankia ). For the full list of Spanish savings banks, see List of Savings Banks in Spain .

Czech Republic

The Česká spořitelna (Czech savings bank) is majority owned by Austrian Erste Bank . As in Slovakia, the Austrian Sparkassen-S is used. Based on the example of the Wiener Sparkasse, which was established in 1819, the bank was founded in 1823 by a group of Bohemian aristocrats under the leadership of Joseph von Hoch as the Böhmische Sparkasse.

United States

Since the beginning of the 19th century passed in the US savings banks ( English savings and loan associations , in short, S & Ls). As mostly municipal companies, they were subject to strict regulatory requirements. These regulations were relaxed in the early 1980s. With their business models changed as a result, the S & Ls are no longer savings banks in the true sense of the word. The savings and loan crisis arose in the second half of the 1980s . Today around 1500 S & Ls still exist.

International Savings Banks Associations

European Savings Banks Association

The savings bank organizations from 27 EU member states and nine other European countries are represented in the European Savings and Retail Banking Group (ESV ).

World Institute of Savings Banks

The World Savings and Retail Banking Institute (WSBI) enables the worldwide exchange of experiences among the savings bank organizations. In addition, it represents the positions of the savings banks at international level, for example vis-à-vis the World Bank or the International Monetary Fund.


The joint venture EUFISERV was founded by the European savings banks in 1990. With its international network, EUFISERV mainly aims at cashless financial transactions for transactions at ATMs.


  • Jürgen Mura: Sparkasse Organization: History . In: Knapps Encyclopedic Lexicon of Money, Banking and Stock Exchange . Frankfurt am Main 2007, Article No. 2002.
  • Jürgen Mura: On the history of the savings bank system in the GDR since 1945 . In: Bankhistorisches Archiv 1/1982, published by the Scientific Advisory Board of the Institute for Bank History Research, Frankfurt am Main.
  • Hans Pohl, Bernd Rudolph, Günther Schulz: Economic and social history of the German savings banks in the 20th century (= savings banks in history . Volume 18). Deutscher Sparkassenverlag, Stuttgart 2005, ISBN 978-3-09-303000-0 .
  • Regional history of the Sparkassen-Finanzgruppe (= Sparkassen in the history . Volume 19). Volume 1. Deutscher Sparkassenverlag, Stuttgart 2006, ISBN 978-3-09-303810-5 .
  • Hugh Rockoff: History of the US Savings Banks and Building Societies . In: Bankhistorisches Archiv 2/1993, published by the Scientific Advisory Board of the Institute for Bank History Research, Frankfurt am Main.
  • Max Seidel: The German savings bank system . Volume 1. The German federal states with the exception of Prussia and the Reichsland Alsace-Lorraine . Heymanns, Berlin 1896.
  • Bodo Spiethoff : Unintentional to the size. The history of the Bavarian savings banks . Max Schmidt & Sons publishing house, Munich 1958.
  • Bernhard Vogler: Les Caisses d'Epargne en Alsace de 1832 à 1870 . In: Bankhistorisches Archiv 2/1991, published by the Scientific Advisory Board of the Institute for Bank History Research, Frankfurt am Main.
  • Marcus Lüppens: The branded diamond . Gabler Verlag, Wiesbaden 2006, ISBN 3-8349-0099-0 .
  • Alexander Scheike: Legal requirements for the material privatization of municipal savings banks. An investigation with special consideration of the legal form of the registered cooperative , Lang, Frankfurt am Main 2004, ISBN 3-631-52470-6 .

Web links

Commons : Sparkasse  - Collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Definition: savings banks . In: Gabler Wirtschaftslexikon . ( [accessed on September 23, 2018]).
  2. ^ Christian Thiemann: Legal problems of the Sparkasse brand . W. Kohlhammer Verlag, 2008, ISBN 978-3-555-01451-7 ( [accessed September 23, 2018]).
  3. save. In: Digital dictionary of the German language . Retrieved September 23, 2018
  4. Checkout. In: Digital dictionary of the German language . Retrieved September 23, 2018
  5. SpkG: Law on Public Savings Banks (Sparkassengesetz - SpkG) in the version published on October 1, 1956 (BayRS II p. 476) BayRS 2025-1-I (Art. 1–32) - Citizen Service. Retrieved September 23, 2018 .
  6. Statista, The Statistics Portal, number of savings bank institutions and their domestic branches from 1990 to 2014
  7. Sparkasse Ranking List 2016 (, accessed on March 20, 2017)
  8. ( Memento of the original from July 23, 2010 in the Internet Archive ) 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. , accessed June 24, 2011. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  9. ^ Joseföffelholz / Gerhard Müller, Bank-Lexikon: Concise dictionary for banking and savings banks , 1983, p. 280
  10. ^ Antonius Vitus Rosen, History and Today's Significance of the Free Community Savings Banks , 1965, p. 8
  11. Martin Braun, The validation of the savings bank idea: A social history , Tectum Verlag, Marburg 2011 (= Scientific contributions from Tectum Verlag. Series: Sozialwissenschaften, Vol. 48), p. 55. ISBN 978-3-8288-2766-0 .
  12. ^ Eckhard Wandel , Banks and Insurance Companies in the 19th and 20th Centuries , Oldenbourg, Munich 1998, p. 3. ISBN 3-486-55072-1 .
  13. Johannes Röser, How unfashionable, how modern is saving? , in: Christ in der Gegenwart, 2013, pp. 367–368
  14. Andrea Kositzki: The public-law credit industry . 2004, p. 12
  15. ^ Sybille Grübel: Timeline of the history of the city from 1814-2006 . In: Ulrich Wagner (Hrsg.): History of the city of Würzburg . 4 volumes, Volume I-III / 2, 2001-2007; III / 1–2: From the transition to Bavaria to the 21st century. Volume 2, 2007, ISBN 978-3-8062-1478-9 , pp. 1225-1247; here: p. 1226.
  16. Thomas Brszoska: The public-law savings banks between the state and municipalities . 1976, p. 85
  17. ^ Karl Friedrich Hagenmüller, Gerhard Diepen: The bank operation . 1978, p. 121 f.
  18. Wolfgang Schmitt-Wellbrock: Free savings banks and regional principle . 1979, p. 142, FN 436
  19. Wolfgang Schmitt-Wellbrock: Free savings banks and regional principle . 1979, p. 142
  20. MBliV 1900, p. 255
  21. Thorsten Wehber: guarantor liability and Anstaltslast - a historical review . In: Journal for the entire credit system , 2005, p. 753
  22. ↑ Seizure of power by the National Socialists and synchronization. Retrieved March 3, 2019 .
  23. ^ When the savings banks were Hitler's executors. May 9, 2015, accessed March 3, 2019 .
  24. ^ Jochen Klein: The savings bank system in Germany and France . 2003, p. 45 f.
  25. ^ Jürgen Dube: Computer for cooperatives. The history of the cooperative data centers . DG Verlag, Wiesbaden 1993, ISBN 3-87151-002-5 , p. 29, 57, 104, 117, 158-161 .
  26. How safe is the savings bank world? In: FOCUS Online . August 17, 2009 ( [accessed September 23, 2018]).
  27. cf. z. B. Section 3 (3) of the Savings Banks Act of North Rhine-Westphalia
  28. The municipalities are getting poorer - and their savings banks are getting fatter . In: Correctiv . November 9, 2016 ( [accessed October 20, 2017]).
  29. No distribution: savings banks hoard profits. NDR, accessed on October 20, 2017 .
  30. Savings banks versus municipalities: Why savings banks prefer to bunker money . ( [accessed October 20, 2017]).
  31. Your documentary: The savings bank fraud - Who really collects the profits? | Documentary German / HD. July 25, 2017. Retrieved September 23, 2018 .
  32. RP ONLINE: Düsseldorf: Debate about savings bank dividends. Retrieved September 23, 2018 .
  33. ^ Stadtsparkasse Düsseldorf: compromise found for distribution . ( [accessed September 23, 2018]).
  34. Finances: Rich savings banks - poor municipalities. In: Controversial (BR). ARD, July 22, 2016, accessed on September 23, 2018 .
  35. Düsseldorf: An old Sparkasse dispute about the distributions flares up again . ( [accessed September 23, 2018]).
  36. ^ Meike Schreiber Frankfurt: Sparkasse versus Mayor . In: . June 15, 2015, ISSN  0174-4917 ( [accessed on September 23, 2018]).
  37. ^ Stadtsparkasse Düsseldorf: Board of Directors agrees in dispute over distribution | . In: . ( [accessed on September 23, 2018]).
  38. RP ONLINE: Düsseldorf: Debate about savings bank dividends. Retrieved September 23, 2018 .
  39. Why there are always arguments at the Stadt-Sparkasse. In: Westdeutsche Zeitung. Retrieved September 23, 2018 .
  40. Meike Schreiber: The pensioner that the savings banks are afraid of . In: . 2016, ISSN  0174-4917 ( [accessed on September 23, 2018]).
  41. Germany's savings banks are generous when it comes to donations - and stingy when it comes to distributing to local authorities. In: CORRECTIV . November 10, 2016 ( [accessed September 23, 2018]).
  42. Jonathan Sachse: Sparkasse Check: Dubious donations . In: FAZ.NET . ISSN  0174-4909 ( [accessed September 23, 2018]).
  44. Sparkasse affair with ex-district administrator Jakob Kreidl: A chronology of events . In: . March 31, 2018 ( [accessed September 23, 2018]).
  45. Sponsored by Sparkasse . In: . February 19, 2014, ISSN  0174-4917 ( [accessed on September 23, 2018]).
  46. ^ Meike Schreiber Frankfurt: All too best friends . In: . August 20, 2015, ISSN  0174-4917 ( [accessed on September 23, 2018]).
  47. Recalculated: When saving profits, the bank (almost) always wins . ( [accessed September 23, 2018]).
  48. Dispute over interest: savers win in court against their savings bank . In: Spiegel Online . August 7, 2015 ( [accessed September 23, 2018]).
  49. Analysis: SMEs complain about credit hurdles. In: RP Online. Retrieved September 23, 2018 .
  50. ^ Christian Thiemann: Legal problems of the Sparkasse brand . W. Kohlhammer Verlag, 2008, ISBN 978-3-555-01451-7 ( [accessed September 23, 2018]).
  51. BGH GRUR 2010, 637 Rn. 28 - color yellow
  52. BGH GRUR 2014, 1101 Rn. 23 - Yellow dictionaries; BGH GRUR 2015, 581 Rn. 15 - Langenscheidt yellow
  53. BGH, decision of July 21, 2016, Az .: I ZB 52/15 = BGHZ 211, 268
  54. Court ruling - savings banks must continue to fight for their red , accessed on June 21, 2014
  55. cf. § 5 trademark statutes of the DSGV
  56. ^ Picture book Cologne: Stadtsparkasse Köln and change studio
  57. Harald Freiberger: Always in with it . In: Süddeutsche Zeitung . January 7, 2011, p. 20.
  58. Federal Ministry of Finance of April 4, 2002, State Aid No. E 10/2000 - Germany Anstaltslast and guarantor liability , reference number EC 3 - F 2505-93 / 02
  59. Federal Ministry of Finance of April 12, 2002, Anstaltslast and guarantor liability; Decision of the European Commission of March 27, 2002 , reference EC 3 - F2505-104 / 02
  60. See also the article Stiftung Südtiroler Sparkasse ; What is said there applies to all Casse di Risparmio ; Italian: Cassa di risparmio
  62. a b see Austrian banking
  63. "Washington Mutual no savings bank in the German sense" ( Memento from September 28, 2008 in the Internet Archive ), , September 26, 2008.