White Paper No. 32

The German Banking System: Characteristics and Challenges

This Paper gives an overview of the German banking system and current challenges it is facing. It starts with an overview of the so-called ‘Three-Pillar-Banking-System’ and a detailed description of the current structure of the banking system in Germany. A brief comparison of the banking system in Germany with the ones in other European countries points out its uniqueness. The consequences of the financial crisis of 2007/2008 and further challenges for the German banking system are discussed, as well as the the ongoing debate around the question whether the strong government involvement should be sustained.