Mr Haasis, worked your debit card on New Years Day and in the days afterward?
No. I’ve been abroad since two of my cards did not work. But fortunately I had a third, who had no problems. The hotel bill, I could also pay with a manual input of map data, and with my signature.
Then you can understand the anger of your customers so well.
Yes, it was also very angry. Customers have responded with understanding, for the most part, but we had many inquiries. In Germany, all bank cards have been on 1 January at the ATM to work, to the merchant terminal after a week.
How can you explain this error?
We can not. At first I was of the opinion: That can not be. In the industry, no one has expected that such a thing could happen. Also, the responsible manufacturer has been surprised. That has to be worked up.
If you have money and is not about the money, which is annoying. It is unfortunate when one no longer gets. The middle class is afraid that the banks are now reluctant to lend more. Do we get a credit crunch?
A correction: Everyone will get money, only partly in other ways. The credit situation is partly spoken in public worse than it is. The fact is that the savings banks have granted loans in 2009 more than in the boom year 2008. We have increased the commitment to businesses and the self by 5.5 percent as the economy has fallen by five percent. 62 billion euros have been re-pledged. Retrieved has been somewhat less. There are even loan funds, the companies have not been used.
You think the credit crunch is pure fiction?
Sure, there are also institutions that have restricted their lending. The foreign banks have withdrawn from the German market. The commercial banks have registered a minus. At the moment, there is no credit crunch.
Why is the savings banks can lend more than the private sector?
Because we have such high deposits from customers and a decent equity. And because we regard it as our mission to provide local SMEs with loans and not to speculate on pure financial products. This robustness is now paying off.
Now the companies still put the figures of 2008. What if the 2009 budgets are verhagelt? These companies still get credit?
No one can predict everything. One thing is clear, however: Only if the firms in the region goes well, it is also the savings well. One advantage of our decentralized organization is that each bank can decide to whom they are a credit. Who offers guarantees that he can repay the bank receives a credit. But that we need to look closely, there is no question we finally put a customer deposits, which needs to reclaim our investors.
The companies also complain that the loans are more expensive.
Since September 2008, the business loans by about three percentage points have been reduced. There were not so favorable interest rates in decades. The Basel II rules, but also write to us, risk-based pricing for loans. The higher the risk, the more expensive the loan. We have to cope with possible failures and earn our money. A growth in the credit sector from over five percent, we can only continue if we continue to build equity.
The proposal to establish an equity fund that originally came from you. Now we hear only of the Ackermann funds should go to the end of the quarter at the start. When you come Fund?
It is good if the German bank also making. The savings banks have assigned 2009 about 300 million euros in new capital funding. And we make a new loan financing 300 million euros per day. But I am sure in equity efforts even further to the area. Many companies have used in the crisis year 2009 equity. The need now only times equity to enable them to borrow at all. Therefore, we recommend the savings banks to grant equity financings. This is already running.
When will the funds come from and how large it will be?
Priority has to do what the savings banks themselves on the spot. The running and sufficient at present. We’re currently working to bring together funds from savings to help larger companies, whose needs the power of a single bank would demand too much. This is technically not easy. Therefore, we need to implement, nor the time until the spring.
The savings banks have also done everything right. But your people have been sitting on the supervisory boards of regional banks that have heavy speculation on the part and have lost a lot of money. What conclusions do you draw from?
The problem is that we had a total financial meltdown. Of these, almost all internationally active banks are concerned – private banks and some banks. The only one guilty person does not exist, although I understand the search for it. One can not say that no mistakes were made. It is important to ground the banking industry again more. That means less pure international financial transactions, more business with real customers on site.
Savings assume a responsibility for the Zockerei the regional banks?
Problematic transactions I accept, not Zockerei. And we also have state banks, which is doing well in this crisis. But where heavy losses have occurred, have also prevented the savings can not – that is true. The savings banks have already taken responsibility. They have lost property, they had to nachschießen money. But let me also remind you of one thing: None of the private banking AG nachgeschossen the shareholders money. This has only made the savings when the banks.
A consolidation process among regional banks is overdue. Why he does not take off?
The savings banks are of the opinion that the state banks to reduce speculative international business and more should be focused on the care of real people. In addition, a concentration process is necessary. Owners are, however, countries and savings banks. We can implement our ideas only if all owners agree to it.
What do you need the state banks, and how many do you need?
Savings banks are active in the region. In addition, we have to provide core services common services abroad such as currency hedging. Whether the members of two or three units, is secondary. But we do not need as many independent units as we have right now.
Landesbank Berlin belongs to the savings bond. What role they might play in consolidation?
Landesbank Berlin is primarily the largest savings bank in Germany. You can do even more. We want that the LBB is more to a service provider and product supplier for the savings banks. She already works with more than 200 savings banks in Germany, which will increase. It is not because of their strong anchoring in the bank’s business will be the central Landesbank of Germany.
The association of private banks, there is the consideration involved in reforming the deposit insurance fund and the savings banks. What do you think?
The savings banks as the credit union to guarantee the existence of each individual institution on its own. The customers have never had to suffer a failure and the state has never had to breach. If a bank like Lehman Brothers to fail, the German is why the German savings banks should pay for it? We have absolutely no interest in change.