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German savings banks to create new pensions arm

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GERMANY - The German public savings’ bank network, the Deutsche Sparkassen- und Giroverbandes (DSGV), is to enter into a joint venture with its insurance equivalents in order to compete with its private rivals in the new pensions market in Germany, Dietrich H. Hoppenstedt, the network’s president, has said in an interview with Handelsblatt, the German business daily.

Hoppenstedt says the new company should be moulded on the company structure of DGZ-Deka Bank, DSGV’s fund management arm. DGZ-Deka Bank would then form the 50/50 joint venture with the country’s 37 public insurance companies.

Hoppenstedt underlines the urgency to get the venture up and running as soon as possible. “It must be established in time for the wage negotiations in November,” he comments. This is because the next round of talks will include the subject of pensions and retirement provision, he says.

In addition, Hoppenstedt said he was opposed to setting up a federal-wide active insurance company, since the regional market would lose money, and this is “a golden earner” he says.

Hoppenstedt is keen to get the ball rolling in order to ensure that new pensions and insurance products business won’t be lost to private sector competitors such as Allianz and Dresdner Bank.

No further details are yet available about the scheme.

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