JEvery day, bank representatives talk about wanting to do their part to solve the Corona crisis, and without banks it will not be possible to maintain payment transactions and finance companies and consumers. But it is now becoming known that Deutsche Bank is examining short-time work, as a spokeswoman for the F.A.Z. confirmed.
And Deutsche Bank is not alone in the industry. “In the current situation, our bank naturally checks, like other financial institutions, whether and where that might make sense,” says the Deutsche Bank spokeswoman. “At the operational level, the bank is preparing for such scenarios.” As of today, however, there was no short-time working within Deutsche Bank.
That still applies to everyone, but some deny such plans more rigorously than others. The spokesman for Commerzbank, for example, told the FAZ: “Applying for short-time work is currently not an issue for us.” as announced by the BVR. “Wherever it can not be avoided, cooperative banks could take this step to preserve jobs,” said a spokeswoman for the Federal Association of Volks- und Raiffeisenbanken (BVR). This means that part of the industry is sending a completely different signal than before.
Some have their hands full
Industry representatives are currently talking about a flood of inquiries that are just about to hit banks and savings banks, be it from commercial customers who want to find out about the new KfW loans being processed by the house banks; or from private customers who need advice on the deferral of loans to the currently fluctuating stock market.
For example, the Bavarian Cooperative Association, which, according to reports, does not include any cooperative banks that check short-time work, announced on Thursday that its institutes are promoting lending, and not only with the help of promotional loans, for which state banks such as KfW and LfA are largely liable. In the past few days, the Bavarian Volks- und Raiffeisenbanken had taken almost 60 percent of the newly issued loans into their own books, for which they are solely liable, the association said.
Worry about the next few weeks
In many places, employees from departments that are currently underutilized have been brought in to deal with customer inquiries in the Corona crisis in banks and savings banks. “We need every employee,” says the spokesman for the German Savings Banks and Giro Association of F.A.Z. and adds: “We are not aware of any savings banks that are planning short-time work.” If branches are closed, work will continue there or in the home office. Short-time working is also apparently not an issue for Hypovereinsbank.
In banks that at least examine short-time working, the argument is that the economic situation is currently incalculable. All employees are currently busy, but the next few weeks are difficult to predict. It is therefore part of the duty of care to check whether short-time work could become a way to secure jobs in the banks.
In the past few days, some banks, including Deutsche Bank and Hypovereinsbank, had thinned out their branch network because employees or branches were infected and their online capacities were increased in return. In the Frankfurt bank headquarters, many employees – possibly different from the branches – have accumulated overtime, which they would first have to reduce before they can apply for short-time work benefits.