KfW - Responsible Banking
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 gasfuelled bus clocked up a total of 4,296 kilometres traversing Germany.
Energy Turnaround in Germany
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
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
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
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 2013 KfW created the KfW Stiftung (Foundation). The KfW Stiftung aims to assure, sustain and publicise KfW's social activities independently of the Bank's earnings performance.
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 and Energy (BMWi), 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 KfW's existing volume of equity financing.
Digitalisation is a challenge for all banks – including KfW. Supporting SMEs in digitalisation 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.
Facts and figures
- The new "western arcade" of KfW in Frankfurt/Main is one of the most climate-friendly office buildings in the world.
- 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.
- KfW creates a new financing offer for social enterprises.
- KfW's modernisation process focuses on customer orientation and efficient internal organisation.
- Green shipping: KfW IPEX Bank assesses the energy efficiency of ships for the first time in 2012.
- KfW Stiftung is founded to safeguard KfW's social activities independently of the earnings performance of the Bank.
- KfW and the German Federal Ministry of Family Affairs launch a loan programme for expanding child care facilities.
- KfW and the German Ministry for the Environment launch the programme to promote battery storage for photovoltaic systems.
- 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.
- Digitalisation of the promotional business: KfW, together with its pilot partner Deutsche Postbank, went live with the new On-lending Online 2.0 platform (BDO 2.0) for housing programmes. For the first time, this will enable immediate approval of promotional loans within one minute of application submission.
- KfW was present on the capital market with two product innovations: May 2014 saw the issue of KfW’s first renminbi bond listed on the Frankfurt stock exchange. KfW also successfully placed its first two Green Bonds in EUR and USD on the capital market in the second half of 2014; both achieved record volume.
- Digitization of the promotional business: Together with its pilot partner Deutsche Postbank, KfW has launched the new online platform BDO (Bank Durchleitung Online 2.0) for residential programs. For the first time, promotional loans can be approved immediately in less than one minute after application.
- Commitment to Europe: KfW participates in the EU Commission's investment offensive.
- KfW was present on the capital market with two product innovations: The first KfW Renminbi bond with a stock exchange listing in Frankfurt was issued in May 2015. In addition, KfW successfully placed its first two KfW Green Bonds in both euros and US dollars with record volumes on the capital market.
- Realignment of equity financing in the venture capital sector. KfW and BMWi jointly launch the VC fund Coparion.
- 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.
- Together with the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the French development bank (Agence Française de Développement, AFD), KfW launched the Clean Oceans Initiative (COI) in October 2018. The initiative aims to promote the development and implementation of sustainable projects to reduce pollution of the world's oceans. The partners are providing long-term financing of EUR 2 billion for projects aimed at reducing pollution of the seas with waste, in particular plastic waste, and the discharge of untreated waste water.
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