The digital transformation and promotional bank
The years 2020 to 2022 will not only go down in KfW history as the "coronavirus years", but also as a time of unprecedented challenges to the bank's financial, human and technical resources. At the same time, the global pandemic has shown the value to our society of a promotional system developed over many decades, especially in times of crisis. In addition to fighting the consequences of the coronavirus pandemic, KfW has not let up in its commitment to sustainable development, digitalisation and innovation.
KfW coronavirus aid
In collaboration with policymakers and the German banking industry, KfW launched its coronavirus aid programmes in March 2020. From the start of the programme until the end of 2021, KfW provided assistance to around 140,000 businesses to mitigate the impact of the pandemic from programme launch until the end of 2021. Nearly all of these were small and medium-sized enterprises. During this period, KfW committed around EUR 57 billion to businesses, non-profit organisations and students.
KfW continued to support the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) in mitigating the consequences of the pandemic for developing countries and emerging economies. By the end of the year 2021, around EUR 2.7 billion had been mobilised through KfW for the implementation of the Emergency COVID-19 Support Programme.
A functioning start-up culture is particularly important for economic recovery. With the structuring and implementation of the 10-billion-euro Future Fund (Zukunftsfonds) by KfW Capital, the Federal Government has presented a mandate from which KfW expects decisive impetus for the development of innovative and pioneering solutions in the coming years, not least in the strategic fields of digitalisation and sustainability.
As a promotional bank, KfW is not only driving the digital transformation in the economy and society, but in parallel also the digital transformation of KfW, for example in application and work processes or the connection to portals and platforms. More than 80,000 people interested in setting up a business have registered on the start-up platform Gründerplattform, which was launched together with the Federal Ministry of Economics Affairs and Climate Action and receive digital support from more than 600 partners in implementing their business idea.
The Smart Cities programme for sustainable digitalisation in municipalities was also launched with great success.
KfW is breaking new ground in digital education funding with its flagship project TUMO Berlin. In the German capital, KfW has opened a digital learning centre for young people modelled on the highly successful TUMO project in Armenia. Further TUMO centres will soon be opened in Mannheim, Essen, Frankfurt and other German cities with the support of KfW.
In 2022, Germany ended its heavy energy dependence on Russia within just a few months and placed its energy supply on a broader basis. KfW supported energy security projects on behalf of the federal government in order to feed the liquefied natural gas LNG into the German gas grid and natural gas storage facilities as quickly as possible.
In Brunsbüttel, KfW participated in the construction of an LNG terminal that will first process liquefied gas and later green hydrogen for the German energy supply.
In addition to feeding LNG into the gas grid, the storage of gas was of particular importance for German energy security. KfW had provided credit lines worth billions for the extensive purchase of storage gas to protect Germany from the feared energy shortage.
- Since the beginning of the global pandemic, KfW has disbursed around EUR 57 billion in Germany and EUR 2.7 billion abroad for special coronavirus measures implemented at short notice to cushion the economic consequences. (as of 12/2021)
- The Federal Government is providing an additional EUR 10 billion for an investment fund for future technologies (Future Fund/Zukunftsfonds) via KfW/KfW Capital. Start-ups in the growth phase with high capital requirements will benefit from this in particular.
- On behalf of the German government, KfW is involved in the construction of an LNG terminal in Brunsbüttel and is providing credit lines worth billions of euros for the extensive purchase of gas for the huge German storage facilities.