Sale of State Savings Bank Put on Hold | Business| Economy and finance news from a German perspective | DW | 02.03.2004
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Sale of State Savings Bank Put on Hold

The possible sale of the Sparkasse (savings bank) in the town of Stralsund to a private commercial bank has been stopped. The head of the local Social Democratic Party announced that a resolution would be passed on Thursday making the sale of the bank impossible. The decision of the mayor of Stralsund, in eastern Germany, to investigate selling the local Sparkasse was heavily criticized by politicians and the umbrella group that represents the country's dense network of state-owned savings banks. Although the mayor wanted to sell the bank to earn some €30 to €50 million to be used to renovate schools and kindergartens, critics were worried that the sale would weaken Germany's three-pillar banking system and could lead to a privatization of other Sparkasse banks across the country. Advocates for the sale argue that the prohibition is a hindrance to a much needed consolidation of the German banking landscape.