Shelter from the Storm

Any Bob Dylan fan will be familiar with the song title ‘Shelter form the storm’. Here’s where Germans took Shelter from the financial storm, back in 2008.

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 has only 12% Private Banks;

Ireland has close to 100%*, even the Credit Union funds are by law held with them.

AIB presently 99.9% publicly owned, owes us €21bn; we probably wont see a cent of it for 10, 15 or 20 years.

  • No safety net in Ireland, no place to shelter from the financial storm.
  • The private banks have the guarantee of a bail-in when they need rescuing next time.

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


The Telegraph, Oct 2008

The following article was written by Michael Levitin in Berlin for The Telegraph.

Financial crisis boosts German banks

Germany’s state-owned banks are emerging as winners from the financial tumult that has rocked Europe’s largest economy and its neighbours in the last two weeks.

By Michael Levitin in Berlin – The Telegraph, 13 Oct 2008

Sparkasse savings bank and other state-run banks like it are awash in new business since late September, as Germans rush to deposit money where they perceive it will be safest.

According to a survey conducted by Bild, deposits at Germany’s 16,000 branches of Sparkasse have increased by more than 1bn euros since the financial crisis unfolded two weeks ago. Meanwhile, Haspa, Germany´s biggest savings bank in Hamburg, has recorded fresh deposits of 500m euros.

As Chancellor Angela Merkel prepared to announce a 480bn euro rescue package for German banks with around 80bn in fresh capital and 400bn slated as loan guarantees the trend being seized upon by the average German investor was clear.

“A while ago banks could not be international enough. The only ones that were ‘modern’ were those that were active on international markets,” Michaela Roth, spokesperson for the German Savings Bank Association said.

“But now there is a change in awareness taking place and the image of this very conservative, very solid business model is improving.”

In the bail-out package agreed following an emergency summit of euro zone leaders in Paris, Germany´s Finance Ministry will have the power to extend guarantees totalling 400bn euros through Dec 31, 2009. Since the package assumes 5% of the federal guarantee will be lost, the ministry is authorised to borrow funds at 5 per cent, or about 20bn euros.

In addition, a new state fund billed as the German Financial Market Stabilization Fund will inject 80bn euros into German banks while purchasing their fallen assets.

The Finance Ministry will be able to borrow 70bn euros for that fund about 50 per cent more than the stabilisation fund in London for leading British banks.

More than half of Germans keep their main account with Sparkasse, which specializes in loans to local small and mid-sized firms. The bank, along with regional state-owned Landesbank, is responsible for 43% of all German corporate loans.

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