Three persons working on a project

Banking supervision at the Deutsche Bundesbank: operational tasks

Germany’s banking landscape features a wide variety of different institutions, each supervised according to their type and size as well as the nature and scope of the inherent risk. As at 31 December 2020, the German banking landscape included around 1,690 credit institutions, most of which fall under the definition of “CRR credit institutions”. Germany is also home to roughly 1,300 financial services institutions of which 718 are classified as investment firms and 100 payment institutions and e-money institutions which are supervised as well.

Ever since the Single Supervisory Mechanism (SSM) came into force in November 2014, CRR credit institutions have fallen within the supervisory perimeters of the SSM, as defined in the SSM Regulation, while competence for overseeing the other institutions remains a matter for national authorities.

The ECB is responsible for directly supervising significant institutions (SIs), a task which is performed by joint supervisory teams (JSTs). Supervisory decisions are taken by the SSM’s Supervisory Board and also require approval from the ECB’s Governing Council.

Direct and operational supervision of the roughly 1,400 less significant institutions (LSIs) is carried out by  the responsible national authority respectively. The ECB does, however, perform an indirect oversight function for LSIs in order to ensure uniform high standards and consistency of banking supervision within the SSM.

The Deutsche Bundesbank’s responsibility for ongoing supervision is legally enshrined in Section 7(1) of the Banking Act (Ge­setz über das Kre­dit­we­sen – KWG) and Section 4(3) of the Payment Services Oversight Act (Ge­setz über die Be­auf­sich­ti­gung von Zah­lungs­diens­ten – ZAG), respectively.

In addition, ongoing supervision also includes the on-site inspections.