Banks in Germany

Updated on March 19, 2024
Article bySayantan Mukhopadhyay
Edited bySayantan Mukhopadhyay
Reviewed byDheeraj Vaidya, CFA, FRM

Overview of Banks in Germany

Germany as a country is well-known for its financial stability and efficient economy. Its image is well supported by the banking system in the country. Their new-age technology and seamless banking by top banks in Germany make it one of the most efficient systems in the world. The government norms have also been supportive for it to have grown to this extent.

Banks in Germany

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As per Moody’s report, one of the most pressing challenges is its low-yield environment. However, Germany has built around a solid operating system based on which the German banking system has been performing quite well. The Federal Financial Supervisory Authority or better known as BaFin is the regulatory authority for banks in the country. It ensures the stability, integrity, and functioning of the financial system.

Banks in Germany Explained

Banks in Germany are one of the largest and most well-established fleets of financial services in comparison to any other country in Europe. It is regulated by the Federal Financial Supervisory Authority or better known as BaFin.

The best part of the German banking system is its stability. Two factors set the biggest bank in Germany apart from other banks in the world are: –

  • The resilience of the economy in overcoming any challenge, and
  •  Meager unemployment across the nation (below 5% as per the last report in August 2016)

However, there’s another challenge that the German banking system needs to deal with: continuous pressure on earning more along with a very high-cost base. Nevertheless, despite all these challenges, it is expected that German banks will remain sound in capital base and liquidityLiquidityLiquidity is the ease of converting assets or securities into cash.read more in the years to come.

All licensed banks in the country have insurance with the Deposit Protection Fund that secures the deposits by their customers in case of the company suffers a catastrophic loss or any other such events that could lead to a loss of cash from the reserves. Moreover, they also provide multi-lingual services which makes banking for customers of different nationalities to experience one of the best banking systems in the world.

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Structure

There are many banks in Germany, much more than in any country in Europe. There are around 1,800 banks in Germany, 1,000 more banks than in any other country in Europe. Banks in Germany can be divided into three categories: –

  1. First-tier: The first tier of banks is private banks. There are a total of 200 private banks. Among these 200 private banks, one of the top banks in Germany is Deutsche Bank, at rank 1.
  2. Second-tier: The second tier of banks is publicly owned savings banks. There are 400 publicly-owned savings banks.
  3. Third-tier: The last tier comprises member-owned credit unions. There are more than 1,100 member-owned credit unions in Germany.

Digital Banking

Germany’s digital banking landscape is marked by established banks and emerging fintech companies, offering innovative solutions and robust security measures. It is undergoing rapid transformation. The biggest banks in Germany are increasingly embracing digitalization, offering online banking services and mobile apps to cater to tech-savvy customers.

Germany’s fintech sector is also thriving, with a growing number of startups providing innovative financial solutions. The country’s regulatory environment, particularly with the implementation of PSD2, encourages collaboration between traditional financial institutions and fintech companies, fostering competition and driving advancements in the digital banking sector.

Our Top Picks For Managing Finances & Borderless Payments

You can explore these online money management services to plan your savings, investments & borderless payments:

Wise
– Multi-currency e-money account linked to debit card

– Fast transfers and no markup rates

– Broad geographical reach across continents in 75+ countries.
Rating 4.3/5
Revolut Business
– Dynamic digital financial and money management platform.

– Multicurrency Business Account for companies and freelancers

– Dominates competitions in terms of innovative features and easy accessibility.
Rating 4.8/5
Qonto
– Digital bank account and cards

– Can set transaction limits for each card

– Operates primarily in France, Italy, Germany & Spain
Rating 4.2/5

List of Top 11 Banks

  1. Revolut
  2. Deutsche Bank
  3. DZ Bank Group
  4. KfW Bankgruppe
  5. Commerzbank
  6. HypoVereinsbank (UniCredit Bank AG)
  7. Landesbank Baden-Württemberg
  8. Bayerische Landesbank (BayernLB)
  9. Norddeutsche Landesbank (Nord/LB)
  10. Landesbank Hessen-Thüringen (Helaba)
  11. NRW.Bank

As per the total assetsTotal AssetsTotal Assets is the sum of a company's current and noncurrent assets. Total assets also equals to the sum of total liabilities and total shareholder funds. Total Assets = Liabilities + Shareholder Equityread more acquired, we will discuss each one of top banks in Germany through the detailed discussion below.

#1. Revolut:

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#2. Deutsche Bank:

As per the total assets acquired, this tops the list in the ranking. At the same time, this is the leading bank of all private banks in Germany. As per the last report of 2021, Deutsche Bank has acquired total assets of €1.324 trillion. The headquarters of Deutsche Bank is in Frankfurt. It was established in 1869, almost 152 years ago, and has employed around 82,969 employees (2021). In 2016, it reported a loss of €1.356 billion.

#3. DZ Bank Group:

As per the total assets acquired, this bank is the second largest bank in Germany. The total assets acquired by this bank in 2020 were €596 billion. In 2016, the profit before taxesProfit Before TaxesProfit before tax (PBT) is a line item in a company's income statement that measures profits earned after accounting for operating expenses like COGS, SG&A, depreciation & amortization, and non-operating expenses. It gives the overall profitability and performance of the company before making payments in corporate taxes.read more of DZ Bank Group was €2.197 billion. The DZ Bank Group has 31,410 employees were working as of 2020. In 2016, it merged with WGZ bank. The headquarter of DZ Bank Group is situated in Frankfurt.

#4. KfW Bankengruppe:

As per the total assets acquired, this bank is the third-largest bank in Germany. The total assets acquired by this bank in 2017 were €472.3 billion. The operating income (before promotional activity) in 2017 was €1.669 billion. It was founded in 1948, almost 69 years ago. It has employed around 6,705 employees as of 2020. KfW Bankengruppe headquarter is in Frankfurt. It has changed its name to “KfW” only from “KfW Bankengruppe.

#5. Commerzbank:

As per the total assets acquired, this bank is the fourth largest bank in Germany. The total assets acquired by this bank in 2018 were €462 billion. It was established around 147 years ago, on 26th February 1870. Commerzbank’s headquarters in Frankfurt has employed approximately 49,174 employees as of September 2018. Total revenueRevenueRevenue is the amount of money that a business can earn in its normal course of business by selling its goods and services. In the case of the federal government, it refers to the total amount of income generated from taxes, which remains unfiltered from any deductions.read more and operating income Operating IncomeOperating Income, also known as EBIT or Recurring Profit, is an important yardstick of profit measurement and reflects the operating performance of the business. It doesn’t take into consideration non-operating gains or losses suffered by businesses, the impact of financial leverage, and tax factors. It is calculated as the difference between Gross Profit and Operating Expenses of the business.read more as per the last report in 2016 was €13.71 billion and €1.64 billion.

#6. HypoVereinsbank (UniCredit Bank AG):

HypoVereinsbank is one of the subsidiaries of UniCredit. As per the total assets acquired, this bank is the fifth-largest bank in Germany. The total assets acquired by this bank in 2014 were €300.3 billion. It has total equity of €19 billion. It was established in 1998. The headquarter of HypoVereinsbank is located in Munich. The total number of employees employed with this bank is 12,194 as of December 2019.

#7. Landesbank Baden-Württemberg:

As per the total assets acquired, Landesbank Baden-Württemberghas secured the sixth position among 1,800 banks in Germany. As per relbanks.com, it has acquired total assets of €285 billion as per the report of March 2014. It was founded on 1st March 1999. The headquarter of this bank is situated in Stuttgart. Currently, it employs around 10,840 employees. The five types of customers of this bank are – private customers, customers of real estate financing, corporate customers, savings bank customers, and customers of capital markets.

#8. Bayerische Landesbank (BayernLB):

As per the total assets acquired, Landesbank Baden-Wurttemberg has secured the seventh position among all banks in Germany. As per relbanks.com, it has acquired total assets of €257.743 billion as of March 2014. It was founded in 1884. BayernLB offers various services to large enterprises, customers of real estate, asset management clients, and various financial institutions. Bayerische Landesbank (BayernLB) headquarters is situated in Munchen. This bank employs around 7,000 employees.

#9. Norddeutsche Landesbank (Nord/LB):

As per the total assets acquired, Landesbank Baden-Wurttemberg has secured the eighth position among all banks in Germany. As per relbanks.com, it has acquired total assets of €160 billion as per the report of 2018. It was established in 1970. It offers private, public, corporate, and institutional services in all four sectors. The headquarter of this bank is located in Hanover. It has employed around 6,453 employees as of 2017.

#10. Landesbank Hessen-Thüringen (Helaba):

As per the total assets acquired, Landesbank Hessen-Thüringen has secured the ninth position among 1,800 banks in Germany. As per relbanks.com, it has acquired total assets of €219.3 billion as per the report of 2020. It was established on 1st June 1953 and employed around 6,000 employees as of 2021. Helaba’s headquarters are located in Frankfurt and Erfurt. Moreover, it is a central clearing institution and provides 40% of German savings banks.

#11. NRW.Bank:

NRW.Bank has secured the tenth position as per the total assets acquired. As per the report in 2017, the total assets acquired by this bank were €147,583,809,613.28 billion. It was founded in 2002. The headquarters of this bank is situated in Dusseldorf and Munster. NRW.Bank has employed around 1,348 employees. It offers multiple services like equity financingEquity FinancingEquity financing is the process of the sale of an ownership interest to various investors to raise funds for business objectives. The money raised from the market does not have to be repaid, unlike debt financing which has a definite repayment schedule.read more, low-interest promotion loansLoansA loan is a vehicle for credit in which a lender will give a sum of money to a borrower or borrowing entity in exchange for future repayment.read more, and advisory services. In addition, it is also engaged in treasury services and businesses related to capital marketsCapital MarketsA capital market is a place where buyers and sellers interact and trade financial securities such as debentures, stocks, debt instruments, bonds, and derivative instruments such as futures, options, swaps, and exchange-traded funds (ETFs). There are two kinds of markets: primary markets and secondary markets.read more.

We hope you liked this guide to Banks in Germany. Here, we provide an overview of the 10 best banks in Germany, their structure, and their financial status. If you are looking forward to making a career in banking, then you can check out some of the awesome resources: –