2014 | 2(55) | 38-49
Article title

Savings Banks and Cooperative Banks in European Banking Systems

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Languages of publication
Until about 25 years ago, almost all European countries had a so-called "three pillar" banking system comprising private banks, public savings banks and (mutual) cooperative banks. Since that time, several European countries have implemented far-reaching changes in their banking systems, which have more than anything else affected the two "pillars" of the savings and cooperative banks. The paper first describes these changes and points out the specific situation in Germany, as this country is almost unique in so far as the German savings banks and cooperative banks have maintained most of their traditional features. The article then describes the structure of the German "Three-Pillar" banking system and the place and role of savings and cooperative banks in it and concludes with a plea for diversity of institutional forms of banks by arguing why it is important to safeguard the strengths of those types of banks that do not conform to the model of a large shareholder-oriented commercial bank.
Physical description
  • Goethe University, Frankfurt, Germany
  • University of Applied Sciences in Frankfurt, Germany
  • Goethe University, Frankfurt, German
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