History of Banking Congresses

15 April 2014 - The German Banking Congress can look back on a 112-year history: the first “General Bankers’ Congress” was convened in 1902 by the “Centralverband des deutschen Bank- und Bankiergewerbes”, which had been established the previous year. Three further bankers’ congresses followed at irregular intervals in the period leading up to the First World War.

During the Weimar Republic there were three congresses. These were held against the backdrop of a totally changed post-war Germany and focused more on the general economic situation. Following the Nazi takeover, the Centralverband was absorbed in 1934 into the regime’s Organisation of Trade and Industry, where it operated as the “Private Banking Economic Group”. The 1938 Bankers’ Congress was to be the last for many years.

After the Second World War, the “Bundesverband des privaten Bankgewerbes” was founded in 1951 in the tradition of the old Centralverband; in 1968 it would rename itself “Bundesverband deutscher Banken” – the Association of German Banks. The first bankers’ congress of the post-war era finally took place in 1958. In the following decades it was usually held at five-year intervals and since 1974 has borne the name “banking congress”. The 20th German Banking Congress 2014 in Berlin marks a shift to holding the event three years.

Below is a list of all the German banking congresses since 1902 together with their central themes or official titles.

  • 1st German Bankers’ Congress 1902 (Frankfurt am Main): “Economic status and responsibilities of the banking profession”
  • 2nd German Bankers’ Congress 1904 (Berlin): “Revision of the German Stock Exchange Act”
  • 3rd German Bankers’ Congress 1907 (Hamburg): “Financial readiness for war and the German Stock Exchange Act”
  • 4th German Bankers’ Congress 1912 (Munich): “Ways of lifting the price of government stock”
  • 5th German Bankers’ Congress 1920 (Berlin): “The role of the banking industry in rebuilding the German economy”
  • 6th German Bankers’ Congress 1925 (Berlin): “Foreign loans and foreign interests in the German economy”
  • 7th German Bankers’ Congress 1938 (Cologne): “Germany’s finances at the start of the fifth year of the Dawes Plan”
  • 8th German Bankers’ Congress 1938 (Berlin): “Austria’s political and economic road to the Great German Reich”
  • 9th German Bankers’ Congress 1958 (Cologne): “Money and lending in the EEC”
  • 10th German Bankers’ Congress 1963 (Munich): “Banks in our free economy”
  • 11th German Bankers’ Congress 1968 (Düsseldorf): “Banks in the world of tomorrow”
  • 12th German Banking Congress 1974 (Bonn): “Banks in an age of economic and social progress”
  • 13th German Banking Congress 1979 (Bonn): “Banks: efficient, worldwide partners”
  • 14th German Banking Congress 1985 (Bonn): “Private banks: continuity and progress”
  • 15th German Banking Congress 1990 (Bonn): “Banks engaged in competition – in Europe and worldwide”
  • 16th German Banking Congress 1995 (Bonn): “German financial policy caught between competing expectations”
  • 17th German Banking Congress 2001 (Berlin): “E-economy – will we still need banks in the future?”
  • 18th German Banking Congress 2006 (Berlin): “Constraints and scope for action in a globalised world”
  • 19th German Banking Congress 2011 (Berlin): “The world in flux, politics in crisis mode, markets under scrutiny: lessons to learn”
  • 20th German Banking Congress 2014 (Berlin): “Banks and policymakers: joint responsibility for Europe”