Banking & the State
The eabh (www.bankinghistory.org), the Institute for Banking and Financial History (www.ibffrankfurt.de), and the Leibniz Institute for Financial Research SAFE (www.safe-frankfurt.de) are
jointly organizing a conference on ‘Banking & the State’, which will be held in Frankfurt am Main on
23 February 2021.
The strength of the public sector is a significant characteristic of the German banking market and
has been much discussed since the 1960s, particularly from the competition angle. Although
European regulation has weakened the position of public banks, the debate on the State’s
involvement in banking has gained momentum since the financial crisis and the Covid-19 Crisis.
Recent economic research has dealt with the increasing importance of the State’s involvement in
the finance sector (in Germany: Sparkassen, Landesbanken, Förderbanken), the reasons behind it
and an evaluation of the effects.
We welcome paper proposals from a historical and an economic perspective that investigate:
• the emergence and role of state-owned banks in Europe and the formation of a dichotomy
between the private and public banking sectors before 1945
• the impact of development and other state-owned banking on the private sector in the
second half of the 20th century due to the potential crowding-out/competitive effects
• the potential shift in the relative strength of the pillars and structure of the banking sector
in the aftermath of the financial and the Covid-19 crises, the role of regulation and the
Commission’s action plan fostering the capital markets union.
• comparisons of the model of Public Sector Development Financing (Förderbanken) with the
Anglo-Saxon model of Private Sector Innovation Funding (Venture Capital)