Frankfurter Volksbank continues to think about negative interest rates

Frankfurter Volksbank does not rule out the possibility of charging custody fees for deposits from new private customers in the future. The bank is satisfied with the annual balance sheet and is expanding its cooperation with Taunussparkasse.

Partner and competitor at the same time: The CEOs Eva Wunsch-Weber (Frankfurter Volksbank) and Oliver Klink (Taunussparkasse) are working together.

Dhe Frankfurter Volksbank does not rule out the possibility of charging negative interest on deposits from private customers who want to open an account with the institute in the future. “We cannot guarantee that,” said the chairman of the board of the cooperative institute at the annual press conference in Frankfurt. So far, such custody fees have not been charged for private customers. But one wants to observe what inflows of funds there are in order to then react to them, she says.

After the first banks began charging such interest on private customer accounts, many houses fear that a lot of money could be parked with them within a short period of time. While no custody fees are to be introduced on normal credit balances of existing private customers, this regulation should then only affect new customers. For large corporate customers and institutional large customers with particularly high deposits as well as those interested in investing only higher sums in overnight money, the bank charges a custody fee “according to individual agreement”. Wunsch-Weber left open what sums are involved here.

Second largest cooperative bank is upgrading

Meanwhile, the country’s second largest cooperative bank is gearing up for the future. A separate website for young people will be launched shortly, and there will also be special offers for children and young people, it said.

Most recently, the Frankfurter Volksbank caused a sensation with a branch cooperation with the competing Taunussparkasse throughout Germany. The two houses opened their first joint branch at the end of last year, and by the end of this year – earlier than originally announced – all 26 financial points operated jointly with Taunussparkasse are to be opened. Wunsch-Weber said the response, also from outside of Germany, had been great, and that they were proud to have given food for thought on how to deal with less frequented branches.

In future, the partners will share the opening times at locations with staff, and self-service points will also be operated jointly. Cooperation between financial institutions from different camps on such a large scale was a novelty up to then, similar cooperations are to be examined, but there are currently no discussions with the Nassauische Sparkasse and the Frankfurter Sparkasse.

Bank with 600,000 customers

Wunsch-Weber was satisfied with the Volksbank’s annual result. “Despite persistently difficult framework conditions,” said Wunsch-Weber, the bank was able to increase its operating result and expand its position as the largest Volksbank in the region. The bank currently has a good 600,000 customers. The number of employees was recently reduced by 100 employees to 1550, mainly because colleagues have retired due to their age, it said. This helped to reduce administrative expenses and thus offset the losses from the lower net interest income, which fell from 212.8 million euros in 2018 to 199.7 million euros.

Symbolic push of a button: Eva-Wunsch Weber (right, blue jacket) and Oliver Klink (red tie) open the first joint branch.
Symbolic push of a button: Eva-Wunsch Weber (right, blue jacket) and Oliver Klink (red tie) open the first joint branch.: Image: Taunus Sparkasse

The reduction in the number of employees is also a result of the merger with Volksbank Maingau, which was successfully integrated last year, as Wunsch-Weber and her board colleague Michael Mengler emphasized.

Lending continues to be at a high level, and net commission income increased by 1.2 percent to EUR 81.2 million. A good result is also expected for the current year, says Mengler.