History of DZ BANK - The Cooperative IdeaYESTERDAY.
Germany, once a nation shaken by crisis, has become one of the most prosperous economies in the world. Two world wars, reconstruction, economic crises and inflation have all left their mark. Our history has also seen highs and lows. Over the years, more than 30 central institutions have incorporated their banking business into DZ BANK through mergers and business transfers. The bank has adhered to the cooperative principle: bringing people or companies together to achieve their goals.
|A complex organisation emerges|
Hermann Schulze-Delitzsch (1808-1883), politician and founder of the commercial cooperative system, paves the way for the future. In the mid-19th century, he pioneers the formation of the first loan associations, which will later become the Volksbanken. Shortly thereafter, Friedrich Wilhelm Raiffeisen (1818-1888) works to create rural cooperative loan associations. The first local cooperative banks give skilled workers and farmers access to low-interest loans and imitations quickly spring up. In addition to the Raiffeisen organisation, a second rural cooperative association catches on at the end of the 19th century with support from Wilhelm Haas (1839-1913). It was also Haas who supported the establishment of the Landwirtschaftliche Genossenschaftsbank AG in Darmstadt in 1883. DZ BANK’s oldest ‘root’ goes back to the regional central bank. Its shareholders were Hesse’s savings and loan banks. To promote self-help, they created a bank to organise the liquidity compensation among the local banks and contribute to the promotion of the cooperative system in the state of Hesse. In 1895, DZ BANK’s second ‘root’ is formed with the Preußische Zentralgenossenschaftskasse in Berlin whose goal is to foster the cooperative system. The formation of this bank is initiated by the Prussian government which also provides the start-up capital for the public-sector agency. As the national central institution, the Preußenkasse works with the regional central banks, e.g. the Landwirtschaftliche Genossenschaftsbank. A three-tier banking system is created.
|The cooperative financial services network coalesces |
When the organisations of Haas and Raiffeisen merge to become the world’s largest cooperative association under the Frankfurt Cooperative Pact in 1929, the Preußenkasse becomes the central credit institution of the entire rural cooperative system. Ten years later, the bank, which is now called the Deutsche Zentralgenossenschaftskasse, also assumes the role as the central institution for the Volksbanken. On the establishment of the Federal Association of German Cooperative Banks in 1972, the organisational segregation of Volksbanken and Raiffeisenbanken was brought to an end. In 1975, the central credit institution not only gets a new name as a result of the DG BANK Act – it also completes its transformation from a state-owned development institution to a modern cooperative central institution. The new legal framework also makes mergers between regional central banks and the central institution possible. The three-tier structure gradually disappeared beginning in 1985. The two ‘roots’ of the bank came together in 2001 when GZ-Bank and DG BANK merged to form DZ BANK – and the unification in the cooperative superstructure thus reached its peak.
Even though DZ BANK has changed drastically compared to its predecessors in the 19th century, one thing still remains: its duty to foster the cooperative system.
As part of the cooperative financial services network, which comprises around 1,000 local cooperative banks, and one of Germany’s biggest private-sector financial service organisations, the DZ BANK Group today is an experienced and professional provider of Allfinanz services. The local cooperative banks, in cooperation with the cooperative sector’s specialized service providers, serve approximately 30 million clients throughout Germany.
The cooperative financial services network
The DZ BANK Group includes Bausparkasse Schwäbisch Hall, DG HYP, DZ BANK International, DZ PRIVATBANK Schweiz, R+V Versicherung, TeamBank, Union Investment Group, VR LEASING and a range of other specialized service providers. The combination of banking services, insurance products and asset management allows the cooperative banks in Germany to offer their clients a wide range of first-rate financial services.
DZ BANK AG – Corporate bank and holding
We have existed in our current form as DZ BANK AG since September 2001. As a corporate bank for large and medium-sized companies and institutional investors, we offer the entire portfolio of an internationally-oriented financial institution. As an Allfinanz holding, we coordinate the activities of the DZ BANK Group and its specialized service providers to tap into synergies and bring customized products to the market.
Achieving more together.
The financial market is in flux. Competition and technical advances continuously give rise to new challenges for us – just as we continuously challenge our competitors. We will continue to capitalise on the strength of the cooperative financial services network in the future to the full extent and concentrate on the needs of the primary banks more than ever before. Our focus is also on strategies for tomorrow: the retail and corporate client business and the development of an overall concept to strengthen our corporate culture.
Success through flexibility
Our cooperative financial services network has the flexibility to continuously adapt to changing client needs – whether private individuals, skilled workers, business people, farmers, freelancers or large accounts. DZ BANK and the cooperative sector’s specialized service providers consider their mission to develop new products and organise production workflows efficiently and hence cost-effectively.
The managers of the future
When we talk about the future, we pay special attention to the next generation of management. The cooperative financial services network makes it possible for us to create attractive training programmes and ensure that the next generation is well-prepared for the banking business. We know: if the strengths of each and every individual are put to work, we will overcome the challenges of the market.
We can always achieve more together.
Flyer 125 Years DZ BANK (2008) (946 KB)