The savings banks are under pressure: In rural areas in particular, bank branches are being used less and less, Corona has accelerated the downward trend once again, as reported by “Wirtschaftswoche”. From an economic point of view, even an ATM is often no longer worthwhile for the Sparkasse. At the same time, the houses have the public mandate to provide people with money and services. In order to do justice to this mandate and at the same time save costs, there are now a few sometimes curious ideas to continue to be present, especially in rural areas:
Cooperations with other banks
In the municipality of Rimbach in Bavaria (2,000 inhabitants), the only local savings bank closed a few weeks ago. The branch had existed for decades. So that the people of Rimbach can still withdraw cash on site in the future, the Sparkasse is cooperating with the local Raiffeisenbank – from now on, Sparkasse customers can also withdraw money free of charge.
Providing village bakers and butchers with card readers free of charge
According to a report by “Wirtschaftswoche”, the Sparkasse Schweinfurt-Haßberge plans to close 14 branches by 2021. In order to at least mitigate the consequences a little, the Sparkasse now wants to equip shops such as bakeries and butchers in the region with card readers. “Then customers are no longer so dependent on cash”, says Sparkasse boss Peter Schleich of “Wirtschaftswoche”.
By bus to neighboring branches free of charge
Another idea of Sparkasse Schweinfurt-Haßberge is to take Sparkasse customers by bus to other Sparkasse branches in neighboring towns in addition to local public transport. A similar concept is already a reality, for example in Arnsberg in Bavaria. There, Sparkasse customers can take the citizens’ bus to the nearest Sparkasse branch free of charge.
Conversely, there is a branch bus in Mansfelder Land that parks in Blankenheim for 1.5 hours every Tuesday. You can also withdraw money there – there are no longer any machines or branches – or you can attend consultation appointments.