Several cooperative banks join forces

People’s Bank

The number of Volksbanks with total assets of ten billion euros and more is growing – thanks to further mergers.

(Photo: dpa)

Frankfurt Another particularly large merger is in the offing among the Volksbanks. The Mainzer Volksbank and the Volksbank Darmstadt-Südhessen want to merge. The two financial institutions announced this at the beginning of the week. The merged money house has a balance sheet total of around 14 billion euros.

Only two Volksbanks are currently larger – the Berliner Volksbank and the Frankfurter Volksbank. With the merger of the Volksbanken from Mainz and Darmstadt, there will be a second very large cooperative bank in the Rhine-Main region in the future.

The head of the Mainzer Volksbank, Uwe Abel, justified the merger by saying that they now “wanted to become active themselves from a position of strength”. “It is a strategic step to position ourselves for the challenges of the future.”

He referred to major infrastructure programs in the Rhine-Main area, also with a view to the construction industry, and to the fact that the energy shortage would mean major changes for customers, companies and private individuals alike. “In this context, it will be necessary to handle even larger loan volumes than before.”

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The merged bank will have its headquarters in Mainz. It is planned that the representatives, who represent the members and thus the owners of the financial institutions, will vote on the planned merger in mid-May. At the end of 2021, the Mainzer Volksbank had total assets of almost 8.2 billion euros, its Darmstadt counterpart came to 5.3 billion euros.

Merger of the Volksbanks from Rosenheim and Ingolstadt planned

With regard to the local banks, the cooperative sector is very fragmented. At the end of last year there were still 770 independent cooperative banks. Mergers are not a new phenomenon – in 1970 the number was almost ten times as high.

Small Sector


cooperative banks

was in Germany at the end of 2021. In 1970 there were almost ten times as many.

What is unusual, however, is the frequency of comparatively large mergers. At the end of July, the Rosenheim-based Meine Volksbank Raiffeisenbank and the Volksbank Raiffeisenbank Bayern Mitte from Ingolstadt announced that they wanted to merge in the coming year. With a balance sheet total of 16 billion euros, the probably second-largest Volksbank will be created.

Almost a year ago it was announced that three Volksbanks in Baden-Württemberg wanted to join forces – Karlsruhe, Pforzheim and Remchingen. The “Pure Volksbank”, as it will call itself after the merger, will have total assets of twelve billion euros. The merger will be legally completed on October 4th, followed by the IT conversion on October 14th.

The Verbundvolksbank OWL, headquartered in Paderborn, and the Volksbank Brilon-Büren-Salzkotten, which most recently had a balance sheet total of almost ten billion euros, merged this year. The technical conversion, which will also bring together the IT of the two banks, is scheduled for the coming weekend.

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After the leading institution in the sector, DZ Bank, the pharmacists and doctors’ bank is the second largest German cooperative bank with a balance sheet total of 67 billion euros. It is followed by Berliner Volksbank with a good 17 billion euros, followed by BBBank, Sparda-Bank Baden-Württemberg and Frankfurter Volksbank.

money house


Million Euros

The smallest cooperative bank in Germany, the Swabian Raiffeisenbank Maitis, has total assets.

The difference between the very large and the smallest cooperative banks is already enormous. In terms of total assets – 32 million euros – the Swabian Raiffeisenbank Maitis is the smallest cooperative bank. There are also small cooperative banks in other respects: the Raiffeisenbank Gammesfeld, which continues to work as a great exception with only one full-time board of directors. Their balance sheet total was last 36 million euros.

Raiffeisenbank Struvenhütten recently merged with a larger neighboring institute. It had total assets of 21 million euros.

More: Savings banks and Volksbanks are increasingly sharing ATM locations

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