Gärtner | FlögelRaum und Banken

Regional German savings and cooperative banks approved and advanced loans to companies during the financial crisis, while large banks cut back on lending. Given its ability to mitigate credit crunches, Germany’s regional banking system is considered a role model. This textbook debates the variations in banking systems (many small banks vs. a few large banks) and discusses the role banks play in regional development and vice versa. Considering spatial, social and economic perspectives, the authors develop a spatial classification of banking systems. They discuss the question of how relatively small regional banks withstand global competition by advancing the thesis that the specific decentralised organisation of regional banks partly explains their success. Case studies of two German savings banks and diverse data analyses show how regional banks make business loans. Empirical findings also indicate the challenges regional banks face in times of low interest rates.