Cooperative banks with significant decline in earnings | Free press - economy

Frankfurt / Main (dpa) - After a good start in 2021, Germany's cooperative banks are preparing for possible setbacks as a result of the corona pandemic.

Although the earnings situation of the institutes will probably stabilize in the course of the economic recovery, said Andreas Martin, board member of the Federal Association of German Volksbanks and Raiffeisenbanks (BVR), on Tuesday in Frankfurt. "At the same time, however, due to the recession of 2020 and the obligation to file for insolvency, which is no longer suspended, we can expect rising insolvency figures, which will be reflected in higher, but manageable loan defaults."

The cooperative financial group has prepared itself with a risk provisioning for the possible bursting of loans, which has increased significantly by 1,5 billion euros to a good 2,3 billion euros. The higher provision is also one reason why the consolidated pre-tax profit of 7,2 billion euros was well below the previous year's figure of around 10,2 billion euros. At the time, increases in value on the capital markets drove up earnings.

After taxes, the group achieved an annual profit of a good 2020 billion euros in 5,0 (previous year: 7,0). The financial group includes 814 (previous year: 841) Volksbanks and Raiffeisenbanks, the Sparda banks and the DZ Bank Group.

BVR President Marija Kolak warned in the debate about a European deposit insurance against premature concessions by Germany. Cases such as that of the now insolvent Greensill Bank in Bremen show “what false incentives can arise from a communitarian deposit insurance”, explained Kolak: “Banks without a sustainable business model aggressively attract deposits because they can hope to be absorbed by a joint deposit insurance afterwards. »

The Greensill Bank AG had lured in low interest rates with comparatively high savings rates on overnight and fixed-term deposits. In the meantime, the Bremen public prosecutor's office is investigating suspected falsification of accounts. The financial supervisory authority Bafin closed the Bremen institute at the beginning of March, on March 16 the Bremen District Court opened insolvency proceedings. Private investors affected by the bankruptcy were largely compensated, and several municipalities are still worried about millions.

After a court ruling, the cooperative banks are also facing demands for the repayment of bank fees. However, these are "easily manageable" for the group's financial institutions, said board member Gerhard Hofmann on Tuesday. In the respective cases, it is usually not about high amounts. I don't have to report a customer on my own, added BVR President Kolak. All existing customers had been informed, and one-on-one discussions followed.

The Federal Court of Justice ruled in April that banks must obtain customer approval for changes to general terms and conditions. The clause according to which financial institutions can assume tacit approval if customers do not object to a change within two months, disadvantageous consumers inappropriately. Many bank customers can now claim back part of fees that have been paid too much.