“Cryptocurrencies are not investments that savings banks want to offer their customers.

We don't want to bring this to our customers through our advice or by means of an active offer in the online current account," Ulrich Reuter, President of the Bavarian Savings Banks Association, was quoted as saying by the Bloomberg news agency on Monday.

Within the Sparkassen-Finanzgruppe, this clear rejection has apparently raised some eyebrows.

As late as December last year, the FAZ reported on a project by Deutscher Sparkassenverlag (DSV) and its subsidiary S-Payment.

This should show the possibilities and risks of a crypto wallet in the apps of the savings banks.

Further decisions in this case are expected in the first half of 2022, it said.

Gregory Bruner

Editor in Business.

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In the Savings Banks Association of Hesse-Thuringia, Ulrich Reuter's expressions of opinion were noted with interest, a spokesman replied to a request from the FAZ "Crypto assets are a relevant topic, the savings banks or savings bank associations must therefore deal with it," it said in the message further. The review process is still "open-ended", it is emphasized, although a broad-based entry into trading with cryptocurrencies is not planned. This opinion is shared by the Saar Savings Banks Association and its President Cornelia Hoffmann-Bethscheider. According to them, 10 percent of savings bank customers already own crypto assets or have dealt with them. Hoffmann-Bethscheider also chooses the expression "open-ended". You know about the speculative riskwhich assumes crypto values, but wants to take account of the interests of customers with its own considerations.

Ulrich Reuter receives tailwind from the President of the German Savings Banks and Giro Association (DSGV), Helmut Schleweis.

In relation to cryptocurrencies, like Reuter, he spoke to the online portals Finanz-szene and Finance Forward of a “pyramid system” from which savings bank customers had to be protected.

A spokesman for the DSGV added to the FAZ: "We do not consider cryptocurrencies to be suitable for use by the general clientele because of the associated risks."

Blockchain not bad per se

However, the group is not generally averse to the topic of blockchain, as projects by Deka-Bank show, for example.

Last autumn, the securities house of the savings banks processed several transactions via the in-house digital securities platform SWIAT.

This endeavor is very different from cryptocurrencies.

At the moment, these are still largely used as objects of speculation.

The Deka-Bank initiative is based on a well-known financial product that is being digitized.

Blockchain technology facilitates structuring and bookkeeping.

In the cooperative financial group, the issue was more relaxed.

There is no house opinion on cryptocurrencies, said a spokesman for the Federal Association of Volksbanken and Raiffeisenbanken of the FAZ. Strategic considerations are being driven forward to decide whether and in what form their customers should be able to trade cryptocurrencies directly.

Individual institutes in the group have already anticipated the discussion.

Volksbank Raiffeisenbank Bayern Mitte, for example, offers advice on Bitcoin.

It also wants to enable customers to purchase Bitcoin through the bank.

The aim is not to leave customers alone or to dubious providers when investing in crypto assets.

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