Banks in Germany are divided into three separate tiers: private banks, publicly-owned savings banks (Landesbank), and member-owned credit unions. The German banking system is made up of almost 1,800 banks, which include 200 private banks, 400 publicly-owned banks, and 1,100 member-owned credit unions.
According to Moody’s, the country’s banking system is stable, due to the country’s resilient economy and low unemployment, which help banks in Germany maintain solid financial fundamentals.
For anyone considering a career in banking in Germany, this list is a helpful guide on where to start. To learn more, see our lists of financial institutions.
Founded in 1870, Deutsche Bank is one of the top banking and financial services company in the world, with an extensive presence in Europe, the Americas, Asia-Pacific and the emerging markets. The bank’s core business is investment banking. It also provides services in areas of sales, trading, research, and origination of debt and equity, M&A, and risk management.
Headquartered in Frankfurt, the bank employs around 99,744 employees. In 2016, the bank reported a total income of US$1.88 trillion and total assets US$35.4 billion.
Founded in 1870, Commerzbank provides retail and commercial financing services, investment banking services, asset management, and private banking services.
Based in Frankfurt, the bank employs around 49,000 staff and serves 17.5 million customers in 50 countries. As of 2016, the bank’s total income was US$15.94 billion and total assets US$513.07 billion.
Founded in 1948, KFW Bankgruppe is a Government-owned development bank. Kreditanstalt Fuer Wiederaufbau-KFW operates as a promotional bank. It provides financing for investments, projects by German and European companies, and economic and social initiatives in developing countries, as well as advisory services.
KFW funds its business activities through the international capital markets, raising US$85.84 billion in 2016. It is considered the safest bank in the world. It is present in Frankfurt am Main, Berlin, Bonn, and Cologne. Globally it manages 80 local and representative offices.
The bank currently employs 5,944 staff. As of 2016, the total income of the bank amounted to US$2,237 million and total assets reached US$598 billion.
DZ Bank is an acronym for Deutsche Zentral-Genossenschaftsbank, meaning cooperative bank. Founded in 2001, the bank serves as the central institution for more than 1,000 co-operative banks. Headquartered in Frankfurt, it employs around 29,300 employees and serves 16 million customers.
The bank currently operates in Berlin, Düsseldorf, Hanover, Koblenz, Munich, Munster and Stuttgart, as well as London, New York, Hong Kong, and Singapore.
In 2016, DZ Bank reported total income US$7,204 million and total assets of US$600 billion.
Founded in 1955, UniCredit Bank AG offers personal and commercial banking products and services in Germany, the United Kingdom, Italy, Luxembourg, rest of Europe, Canada, the United States and Asia. The bank currently employs 85,000 employees and serves 11 million customers through its 1,150 branches. As of 2016, the bank’s total income was US$6,375 million and total assets were US$938 billion.
Established in 1999, Landesbank Baden-Württemberg is both a universal bank and a commercial bank. It is headquartered in Stuttgart and currently employs around 10,840 employees. The bank’s business model is based on five pillars: corporate customers, private customers, savings banks, real estate financing and capital markets. As of 2016, the bank’s total income amounted to US$3,045 million and total assets reached US$287 billion.
Founded in 1884, BayernLB provides various banking services to large corporations and Mittelstand companies, real estate customers, financial institutions and asset management customers, and the public sector in Europe and the United States. Headquartered in Munchen, the bank employs around 7,000 individuals.
In 2016, the bank reported an income of US$1,635 million and total assets of US$250 billion.
Established in 1970, Nord/LB provides financial services to private, corporate, institutional, and public sector clients in Germany and other countries. Headquartered in Hanover, the bank employs around 6,400 staff.
As of 2016, the bank’s total income was US$2,300 million and total assets were US$205.68 billion.
The bank is a Landesbank offering financial services to companies, banks, institutional investors and the public sector. It also acts as a central clearing institution and also services 40% of German savings banks. Headquartered in Frankfurt, it also operates branches in Berlin, Stuttgart, and Munich. Internationally, it is present in Paris, London, New York, Madrid, Moscow, Shanghai, and Stockholm. Founded in 1953, the bank employs around 6,000 employees.
Apart from its subsidiaries (Helaba Invest Kapitalanlagegesellschaft, Frankfurter Bankgesellschaft and the OFB Group), the group also comprises online bank 1822direkt, LBS Hessen-Thüringen and WIBank.
As of 2016, the bank’s total income amounted to US$636 million and total assets reached US$193 billion.
NRW Bank is a state development bank headquartered in Dusseldorf. Founded in 2002, the bank operates through its Programme-based Promotion, Other Promotion/Liquidity Management and Staff/Services segments. It provides low-interest promotion loans, as well as equity financing and advisory services. It is also involved in treasury services and capital markets business, including the municipal loans.
In 2016, the bank reported a total income US$263 million and total assets of US$167 billion.
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This has been a guide to the top banks in Germany. For anyone looking for a career in banking, this list is a great place to start your networking. Please also see these additional resources: