A few weeks after the outbreak of the Corona-crisis was for Walter Beller realized that the nothing is more. 21. May the head of the VR went-Bank rock to the Public: He did not know that “we are going to receive a beating,” he said, “but the economic pressures leave us no choice”. His Institute will open six stores that have to close because of the pandemic, never again. Six of the 18 branches, so every third. Without the Corona-crisis, adding Beller, would have been in the stores for a few more years.
Beller, marking the start of a new wave of branch closures in Germany. The number of branches has been falling for years, but the pandemic has aggravated the Trend drastically. Almost daily, a Bank or savings Bank announced since then that they thin out their branch network.
A study of the financial portal Verivox, which is present in the SZ, now, why this is so. Accordingly, the number of customer visits to Bank branches in the Corona-crisis, fell sharply, at the same time a lot more citizens do their financial transactions online. About one-third of respondents (35 percent) indicated that he was more than a year ago, the last Time in his branch of the Bank; one in seven in ten (six per cent) has never seen an office from the inside. The are likely to be the Younger of the 1005 respondents are German citizens.
In contrast, the Online-Banking received by the Corona-crisis, a huge thrust: one in four (26 percent) now uses it more frequently than before the outbreak of the pandemic. One in four customers (27 percent) of logs every day, every Second (55 percent) at least once a week.
The credit institutions, confirm the Trend, as a survey of the SZ in the case of Bank associations revealed. During the first contact of the restrictions in the March and April money houses made a part of their stores and shorter opening Hours, at the same time customers to avoid the personal contact. The logical consequence was that the Online Banking experienced a boom. In the case of the savings banks in Bavaria were from may to July, 50 000 new customers for switching, in the case of the Volks – and Raiffeisen banks in Bavaria, the proportion of users grew within a year from 54 to 57 percent. The savings banks Association Hesse-Thuringia expect that this share will go up to 2025 from the current 55 to 70 percent.
In addition, the Corona has brought crisis to the German pay increasingly cashless. One reason for this is that the retail sector is driving the development and the customer to the cashier often asks you to whip out the card instead of coins and Bills. The savings Bank Association of lower Saxony registered in the months after the outbreak of the Corona-crisis for the first time, more sales with cards than with cash. There are for Bank customers, therefore, increasingly rare for a reason, the money machine.
Has led to the strong acceleration of digitalization of the banking business to the credit institutions, income and gains falling by the wayside? The opposite is the case: All of the associations emphasize that the crisis when you have to leave, in contrast to many other industries – there are no traces. “There was no impact on revenue, as our institutions were more for the customers,” according to the German Association of Volks – and Raiffeisen banks (BVR). Lending to companies grew significantly, Bavaria’s savings banks reported a Plus of 20 percent.
Even the private business went well: The Germans settled from the stock market crash in March not to be deterred, they took advantage of the subsequent recovery, rather, to invest in funds, index funds (ETF) and savings plans. The Rhineland savings banks registered significant growth in deposits and securities advice. The Hypo-Vereinsbank estimated the growth in Fund-based savings plans from January to September, to 25 percent.
The Corona-crisis-delivered Germany’s banks and savings banks to an important insight: The business continues even if the people hardly come more in the stores. No wonder that many money houses draw the conclusion that a part of your branch offices is unnecessary and the removal of accelerate.
At most he falls to the Commerzbank, which is no longer announced in August, to open a total of 1000 branches those 200, which had been closed in the spring because of the pandemic; they were supposed to have been by 2023, to continue to exist. Deutsche Bank plans to reduce by 2021 the number of its branches from 500 to 400 and to close at its subsidiary, Postbank of 50 branches.
In addition, innumerable branch traps of savings banks and Volks and Raiffeisen banks. A selection of institutions, the proclaimed the in the past few months: Sparkasse Mainfranken (cancels 29 branches), Sparkasse Pforzheim-Calw (14), Sparkasse Saarbrücken (8), Sparkasse Südwestpfalz (8), Sparkasse Duisburg (7), Sparkasse Neunkirchen (7), Sparkasse Mittelfranken (5), Sparkasse Erding-Dorfen (4), VR-Bank Schweinfurt-Haßberge (14), VR-Bank of the Lahn-Dill (9), VR-Bank Bayreuth-Hof (8).
Sometimes the Bank bosses rely directly on the Corona-crisis, sometimes they say the closures would have come to. But what is certain is that the process has accelerated in the past few months. Experts believe that the number of since the beginning of the year, closed branch offices is now significantly more than 1000. In the past year 1220 branches were in Germany according to the Bundesbank, the end of 2019, there were 26 667. Compared to 20 years earlier, there were only 58 546, more than twice as many.
“The number of branches goes back for years, here it is once again accelerating,” said Commerzbank chief Executive Martin Zielke in its function as an Association-in-chief of the German private banks in June. All the associations stress that they believe in the future of the branch: standard transactions, such as Transfers would be done increasingly online, but for investment advice, mortgage lending and other loans, the personal contact will always remain important. The trend is for the Institute to strengthen, therefore, the advice, and the staff in the larger branches.
The smaller branches disappear. The consulting firm Investor Marketing believe that only by the Corona-crisis by 2025, in addition, 3500 branches are eliminated, overall, their number will go back to 10 700 to around 16 000. The consulting firm Oliver Wyman, is looking even further into the future: In 2030, every other branch of the Bank will be gone in Germany.