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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter Oldenbourg September 22, 2021

Lending by credit cooperatives, savings banks and other banks during the Covid-19 pandemic in Germany

Matthias Wrede


We examine long-term lending in the course of the Covid-19 pandemic in Germany. We show that the pandemic is associated with increased lending by credit cooperatives and savings banks. The restrictions imposed by governments on social and economic life and the economic impact thereof, measured in terms of planned short-time work, show a significant correlation with the level of lending by all banks.


Es wird die langfristige Kreditvergabe im Zuge der Covid-19-Pandemie in Deutschland untersucht. Es zeigt sich, dass die Pandemie mit einer verstärkten Kreditvergabe von Kreditgenossenschaften und Sparkassen einhergeht. Die von den Regierungen auferlegten Einschränkungen des gesellschaftlichen und wirtschaftlichen Lebens und deren wirtschaftliche Auswirkungen, gemessen an der geplanten Kurzarbeit, zeigen eine signifikante Korrelation mit der Kreditvergabe aller Banken.


Nous examinons les prêts à long terme au cours de la pandémie de Covid-19 en Allemagne. Nous montrons que la pandémie est associée à une augmentation des prêts des coopératives de crédit et des caisses d'épargne. Les restrictions imposées par les gouvernements à la vie sociale et économique et l'impact économique de celle-ci, mesuré en termes de chômage partiel planifié, montrent une corrélation significative avec le niveau de crédit de l'ensemble des banques.


The comments of an anonymous referee of this journal and of Richard Reichel are greatly appreciated.


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Data sources

Data consistency

For this study data consistency concerns are particularly important for the quarterly regional bank data. First, the regional allocation takes place according to the domicile of the bank and not according to the domicile of the customer. In order to avoid the associated regional biases, the regional data sets do not include Kreditanstalt fu¨r Wiederaufbau (KfW), KfW IPEX-Bank GmbH, AKA Ausfuhrkredit-GmbH, Landwirtschaftliche Rentenbank, Liquidita¨ts-Konsortialbank GmbH (until 2. quarter 2014), DekaBank Deutsche Girozentrale, DZ BANK AG Deutsche Zentral-Genossenschaftsbank, IKB Deutsche Industriebank AG and GLS Gemeinschaftsbank e.G.. Hence, we miss some important business activities of the central institutes of credit cooperatives and savings banks.

Secondly, mergers and purchases across banking group boundaries can cause inconsistencies in the data. For this study, one business transaction in 2018 is particularly important. In the fourth quarter of 2018, Landesbank Berlin AG, which has sold business areas typical of ‘Landesbanks’ and operates under the name Berliner Sparkasse in customer business, was assigned to the savings banking group for the first time. We recode the respective change in lending as missing.

Tab. 4

Lockdown index and Covid-19 deaths in 16 states and 4 quarters

quarter variable mean std. dev. minimum maximum
1 change in lending⁺ 1.791 5.243 -6.843 18.440
2 change in lending⁺ 2.050 2.806 -0.481 7.811
3 change in lending⁺ 1.863 2.158 -0.593 6.197
4 change in lending⁺ 2-307 2.737 -0.894 8.431

1 Covid-19 deaths 234.438 347.165 10.000 1096.000
2 Covid-19 deaths 341.625 440.487 10.000 1544.000
3 Covid-19 deaths 38.688 54.713 0.000 217.000
4 Covid-19 deaths 1543.813 1505.204 145.000 4841.000

1 lockdown index 0.718 0.068 0.620 0.878
2 lockdown index 0.898 0.056 0.818 1.061
3 lockdown index 0.582 0.071 0.416 0.693
4 lockdown index 0.655 0.068 0.500 0.714

1 mobility index 96.062 3.431 90.463 102.665
2 mobility index 98.841 14.584 83.925 142.112
3 mobility index 162.757 37.041 126.050 281.930
4 mobility index 99.710 9.923 86.608 122.438

1 planned short-time working 164916.375 162597.801 15617.000 615691.000
2 planned short-time working 198986.649 213323.088 36142.000 654727.688
3 planned short-time working 11356.167 13070.542 1770.000 41386.000
4 planned short-time working 30041.333 27778.370 5293.667 101280.664

1 unemployed 145960.438 148678.130 34382.000 648187.000
2 unemployed 173125.771 173329.938 39470.668 748648.000
3 unemployed 181513.395 183892.291 41053.668 789117.688
4 unemployed 170128.230 172692.173 38092.332 743020.688
  1. +: Quarterly change in long-term lending for all banks, billion Euros

Published Online: 2021-09-22
Published in Print: 2021-09-27

© 2021 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston

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