Drone image of the KfW building in Frankfurt. In the foreground, treetops from the Palmengarten, in the centre the KfW Main Building and IPEX, on the left in the background the Messeturm.

    The 2010s

    KfW - Responsible Banking

    KfW bus in Potsdam

    As part of the economic stimulus packages of the Federal Government KfW implemented a 'KfW Special Programme' in order to avert a credit crunch, secure sufficient credit particularly for SMEs and assist in the recovery of the German economy following the deep slump in 2009. Nearly 5,000 applications for around EUR 13.3 billion were approved by the end of the year, mostly for small and medium-sized enterprises. The support had an immediate positive impact on employment: the investments carried out by these enterprises secured around 1.2 million jobs.

    KfW expert advisors boarded the KfW information bus as part of the relaunch of the “Economy on tour” information campaign, stopping at 21 cities. The natural gas-fuelled bus clocked up a total of 4,296 kilometres traversing Germany.

    Energy Turnaround in Germany

    Offshore wind farm

    Following the nuclear disaster in Fukushima in Japan, the Federal Government decided to speed up the phasing out of nuclear energy. As part of the 'KfW Energy Turnaround Action Plan', KfW supported the Federal Government in accelerating the restructuring of the energy supply with numerous financing offerings.

    The action plan included financing for renewable energy use such as offshore windfarms, for energy-efficient refurbishment and construction of residential buildings, and for larger municipal investments in energy efficiency.

    KfW's European commitment

    Flags of the EU at the headquarters in Brussels

    KfW's promotional expertise is in demand not just in Germany, but throughout Europe. KfW is involved in the EU investment plan for Europe and works closely together with the EIB Group and other national promotional banks in the EU. Moreover, KfW also deploys European promotional funds in development financing and thus together with its partners supports the implementation of the ambitious goals of the Paris Agreement on climate change and the combating of the causes of refugees leaving developing countries. Further strengthening this collaboration, including between Germany and France, is very important to us.

    Financial support for Greece

    Flag of Greece

    KfW supported the Federal Republic of Germany in the implementation of EU-wide financial aid measures for Greece. As part of a mandated transaction, the German Federal Government commissioned KfW to provide the German portion of bilateral loans from the European member states for Greece in 2010. All of the risks of this mandated transaction were hedged with a guarantee from the German Federal Government. In 2012, KfW credit facilities were reduced from the original amount pledged of EUR 22.3 billion to the actual amount utilised of EUR 15.2 billion. KfW was not involved in additional financial support measures from the Euro states for Greece or other Euro states.

    Establishment of KfW Stiftung

    Villa of KfW at Bockenheimer Landstraße 102, Frankfurt

    Entrepreneurial activities and social responsibility go hand-in-hand – especially for KfW with its statutory mandate to drive change in economy and society and contribute to improving the quality of life. Because the opportunities that will be open to humans in the future are inextricably linked to demographic development, the challenges of globalisation as well as to climate and environmental protection and resource conservation. Given these conflicting interests, it is particularly important to safeguard the future viability of companies.

    As a result, KfW does not only aim to take responsibility in its business mission but also in its social activities globally, nationally and locally. In this process, the Bank's prominence and expertise as well as its experience in selected partnerships should be capitalised on.

    To strengthen this impact, in 2012 KfW created the KfW Stiftung (Foundation). KfW Stiftung aims to assure, sustain and publicise KfW's social activities independently of the bank's earnings performance.

    Equity finance

     Workers discussing at a desk

    To enhance Germany's standing as a technological nation, KfW is supporting innovative business start-ups by strengthening their equity capital. KfW's equity finance products target technology companies at various stages of their development. At the very early stage, which is known as the seed phase, KfW has since 2005 been involved in High-Tech Gruenderfonds (HTGF), Germany's largest and most active early-stage financier. KfW is the largest investor in HTGF after the Federal Government:

    Since 2015 KfW has also started to help meet the shortfall in follow-on and expansion financing available to young, innovative technology companies. It is just businesses like these high-tech companies working in the areas of clean technology, life sciences and med-tech, as well as e-commerce platforms and other "digital" start-ups which need a substantial amount of capital to enable them to develop and grow. To support them in this process, KfW, in collaboration with the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs, has brought a new promotional instrument onto the market, the ERP Venture Capital Fund. KfW is using this instrument to invest in young German technology companies indirectly, via selected German and European venture capital funds.

    Innovative technology companies in Germany have had better access to growth capital since 2018 with the new KfW subsidiary KfW Capital. With the support of the Federal ERP Special Fund, KfW Capital supports German and European venture capital funds and substantially increases the volume of KfW's equity financing.


     Yellow robot arm

    Digitisation is a challenge for all banks – including KfW. Supporting SMEs in digitisation is a core topic. KfW is involved in the expansion and promotion of digital infrastructure as well as in the expansion of blockchain technology .Moreover, KfW supports the expansion of its digital platforms, for example the grant portal for private builders or, most recently, the start-up platform (Gründerplattform) where business founders will be able to obtain help during the whole founding process.


    Modern KfW building, Bockenheimer Landstraße 104 in Frankfurt
    The new KfW office building at Bockenheimer Landstrasse 104 in Frankfurt am Main was inaugurated in 2016.


    • Together with the World Bank, KfW is the most important promoter of renewable energy worldwide.
    • KfW supports the German Federal Government in restructuring the energy supply as part of the KfW Energy Turnaround Action Plan.


    • The establishment of the KfW Stiftung ensures KfW's social commitment regardless of the bank's earnings performance.


    • KfW starts flood action plan to alleviate flood damage in Bavaria and eastern Germany.


    • Commitment to Europe: KfW participates in the European Commission’s investment offensive, otherwise known as the Juncker Plan. KfW wants to help to put Europe back on the growth path.


    • KfW uses its expertise at home and abroad and, on behalf of the Federal Government, is committed to helping refugees in Germany and in the countries of origin and transition.


    • The KfW Regulation applies in full. This means that key banking supervisory standards of the German Banking Act (KWG) and the European Capital Requirements Regulation (CRR) must be applied to KfW accordingly.


    • KfW also implements European promotional funds in development finance and thus supports the ambitious implementation of the Paris Climate Protection Agreement and the fight against the causes of flight in developing countries together with its partners.


    • As a 100% subsidiary of KfW Group, KfW Capital has been bundling its range of equity financing products for innovative companies since October 2018. The investment company invests in German and European venture capital and venture debt funds with the support of the German government's ERP Special Fund, thereby strengthening their capital base.


    • KfW's new sustainability mission statement is directly based on the UN's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the Paris Agreement of 2015 and the German Federal Government's sustainability strategy.
    • On behalf of the German Federal Government, KfW is committed to ensuring new prospects for the continent, such as with new economic development tools.

    75 years of KfW

    The transformation to a sustainable and resilient Germany has begun. KfW has been supporting the changes in the economy and society on behalf of the federal government and the federal states since 1948.

    Impressions of KfW's history

    18 November 1848 - The development of KfW Group has been closely connected to the economic development of the Federal Republic of Germany. Since its founding more than seven decades ago and according to its statutory mission, KfW has been supporting change and encouraging forward-looking ideas - in Germany, Europe and throughout the world.



    Detlev Karres

    Group Communications

    Frankfurt am Main

    Palmengartenstr. 5-9

    60325 Frankfurt am Main