Germany has almost 70% Public Banks;

It has 42% Public Savings Banks (Est. 1778) comprising 417 Independent Public Banks with 15,000 branches and 26% Cooperative Banks, comprised of 1,050 Banks.

  • They are the backbone of the successful German economy; the fourth biggest in the world.
  • They serve the community and prioritise lending to small and medium size local businesses.
  • They are regionally bound and regionally focused and prioritise the prosperity of their region.

The Private Commercial Banks in Germany have only 12.5% of the market.

In Ireland 3 banks have over 90% of the market. AIB is 99.9% State owned but owes us in the region of €20bn, we may never receive. 

Why we need to create an alternative..

Financial Institutions that Serve the Real Economy.

Dr Thomas Keidel,

German Savings Banks Association

12 min  YouTube Video


The German Model



The German Public Banking Model – Two centuries of dependable dedicated service.

The German Savings Banks, the Sparkassen (Meaning Treasure Chest) Founded 1778, has 42% of the total German market and provide 42.7 per cent of all finance to German businesses.

The Sparkassen dependable support of German Mittelstand (primarily small and medium firms SMEs) is the backbone of the German economy. Some 86% of German businesses have an annual turnover of less than €1m.

These banks increased lending to SME’s by 17% between 2008 and 2011.

The German Public Savings Banks have

  • 42% of the overall market in Germany with 50 million customers;
  • 75% of the SME Start-up market.
  • 30% of the Farm lending market.

The German financial system is comprised of

c. 70% Public Banks – 42% Sparkassen Public Savings Banks & 26% Co-op Banks.

The Private Commercial Banks have only 12.5% of the Market.

small bank Eurozone

German Public Savings Banks:

  1. Operate on commercial principles with the aim of maximising sustainable lending as
    opposed to maximising profits, bonuses and shareholder returns.
  2. Operate on the Principle of “Local deposits into local loans” keeping capital in their own
  3. Their Public Mandate guides them to maximise the competitiveness of their
  4. Their dependability and financial performance is well proven over many
  5. Surpluses remain with the bank & within the region. Profits are used to increase equity
    and for non-profit social purposes (the public benefit principle).
  6. Prudent self-regulation and their public mandate prohibits engaging financial
    speculation & securitisation.
  7. They are permitted to lend only to local people and businesses in its designated area.
  8. Controlled by community stakeholders and a professional bank management team.


Financial Crisis of 2008 a Boost for Sparkassen German Public Savings Banks – Funds came rushing in to safety.

Read UK Telegraph Article

In 2008 when the European private bank failure was unleashed on the public,

  • €1bn in deposits came rushing in to the safety of the German Sparkassen Public Savings Banks in just a two week period.
  • No Public Savings Bank required a bail-out in the crisis.
  • The Public Savings Banks actually increased lending to SMEs/businesses by 17% between 2009 and 2011; much of the new funding went into R&D as product demand dropped because of the crisis.

Germany Vs Ireland in Banking

  • Germany has only 12.5% Private Banks;
  • Ireland has close to 95%
  • Irish Credit Union funds are by law held in the Private Commercial Banks. (Estimated at €7bn; are they safe – are they still there?)

No safe place for deposits in Ireland 

  • Deposits up to €100k Guaranteed by a broke indebted Government. (Any issues; we the taxpayer will pay)
  • The private banks have the guarantee of a bail-in when they need rescuing next time. (EU law since 2012)

Shouldn’t we have a safe haven for our deposits for when the Bail-in’s that have started in Europe come to Ireland?


Credit Unions and Community Public Banks