Since the end of World War II, the German banking system underwent many dramatic changes, however, the Sparkassen movement has remained in its current form since 1778. Through its localised structure, it has continued to act as a cornerstone of the German economy, accounting for over a third of banking assets since 1945. This system maintained a considerable presence throughout fragile political movements after the collapse of National Socialism, the reunification of the German state and the implementation of significant economic redevelopment such as the national ‘Hartz Reforms’. We test these inferences with evidence from the Sparkassen system's influence on German savings, lending, and such relationships with real wage growth. We confirm that for much of the post-war era, savings banks have been more stable over time when placed in comparison with commercial banks. We identify a causal link between wages and balance sheets that exist in savings banks and not in commercial banks throughout the post-war era.
- Economic development
- Political development
- Savings banks
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Business, Management and Accounting (miscellaneous)