Thursday , August 18 2022

Sparkasse closes six branches – more below


The Sparkasse branch in Oakle will also have no more money from 2022. This is one of six branches that will be completely closed at the end of this year. The locations in Farnhurst, Warl, Novochausen, Nordwald and Engel will then also be a thing of the past.

© Fabian Piper

Syke – The Kreissparkasse Syke will close six branches at the end of the year. It converts six more locations into pure self-service branches.

Of these, four branches will also be closed by the end of 2023. Jens Bratherig, CEO of Sparkasse, describes the structure anew as a “powerful step towards the future and competitiveness”.

Kreissparkasse Syke closes six branches

As of December 31 this year, the branches in Oakle, Farnhorst, Earl, Novochausen, Nordwald and England will be a thing of the past. The locations in Bermstadt, Schwarme, Sudwea, Skkenhausen, Ernst-Bowden-Platz in Seika and Dorfstrasse in Kircheva will have only 2022 machines, but no more staff. The branch in Ernst-Bowden-Platz will also be closed at the end of 2022. A year later, Sprakasa will relinquish its locations on Sudweyhe, Seckenhausen and Dorfstraße in Kirchweyhe. More than 7,000 customers are affected by the change. About 35 employees at Sparkas will move to another job, but no one will lose their job.

Kreissparkasse establishes an organizational customer center

With the “match,” according to board member Olaf Meyer-Ronbaum, Kreisparka also divides its consulting services into some 6,500 business and commercial clients. For them, the credit institute establishes the organizational customer center “North” with the locations Brinkom and Kirchwa and “South” with the location Syke. There, teams of experienced consultants and experts in corporate lending covered the entire range of advice from individual young entrepreneurs to medium-sized companies.

Bertrig and Meir-Ronbaum made no secret of the fact that Kreispark Sasuke, like many other credit institutions, had to suffer “significant declines in our core income” for years – after all, “several million” a year. At the same time, costs have risen. For example, for necessary investments in digitization, among other things, or for salaries due to raising tariffs.

Cost pressures require restructuring and dilution of branch structure

“To strengthen our equity, we must continue to make a profit,” he concluded. The result: conversion and thinning of the structure of the branches.

The Kreissparkasse is more easily accessible to its customers through all the channels than ever before.

Sparkas board member, Olaf Meyer-Ronbaum

According to Meyer-Ranboim, Sparkasse has meanwhile announced to all branch customers affected by the developments in the mail. After all, about two-thirds of all customers now use online banking, “and Krasparka is more easily accessible to its customers through all the channels than ever before.”

Kreissparkasse Syke employs about 650 people

With a total assets of 4.05 billion euros, Sparkasse Syke is one of the largest savings banks in Lower Saxony. It employs about 650 workers in the cities and communities of Sika, Stoher, Viah, Basum, Twistringen and Bruchhausen-Wilsen. Last year the Sparkasse paid € 10.6 million in taxes and distributed around € 1 million through donations and sponsorships to the arts, culture, sports and environment. And this, according to Bertrig and Meir-Ronbaum, “should remain so if possible.”

Kreissparkasse Grafschaft Diepholz has already implemented similar reorganization measures in recent years.

Pros and Cons

Pro-Commentary by Hans Wilms

Point with your feet

At first glance, this could be anything but customer-friendly as the Kreissparkasse Syke retreats from smaller towns like Oakle, Farnhorst, Novrohausen or Nordwald. But anyone who deals with the arguments of the board of directors of Sparkas will be able to understand the decision. Like all credit institutions, Kreissparkasse Syke is under a lot of pressure to operate. For years costs have risen and there has been a steady decline in revenue – the board needs to respond.

The withdrawal from the region is of course mainly due to economic pressure. In principle, however, the customers themselves pointed it out – on foot. In small branches, the frequency of visitors has recently averaged two customers per hour. Most of them, however, did not seek advice, they just wanted to withdraw money from the machine or print bank statements. There is no need for a qualified staff to do this. From a purely legal point of view, however, Sparkass is forced to staff each branch with at least two employees.

About two-thirds of the more than 70,000 private customers run their business with Sparkasa via the Internet, and now you can get cash at almost any cash register in the supermarket – if it is still used as a means of payment at all. Branch closures are nothing but a logical consequence.

Opposite note by Signy Step

The animals of the centers on the site are weakened

The decision of the Kreissparkasse Syke to close six branches and reduce six more locations to an installation-only location for ATMs has an external impact on Oakle, Farnhorst, Earl, Novochausen, Nordwalda and England that should not be underestimated. This weakens the vitality of the centers on the site. Anyone who visits the Sparkasse branch usually connects the trip with shopping or visiting people nearby.

So Sparkasse customers will soon have to get longer distances. If you want to travel to one of the central locations, you load up on the climate. People without cars are left behind anyway because the public transport infrastructure is not yet developed enough to allow easy access to central locations. This is not supposed to be a day trip for which you have to go on vacation to serve it at one of the remaining 17 branches.

At a time when digitization is advancing and employees of credit institutions are working from home, the question of where their work is located does not really matter, right? So why concentrate everything? Wouldn’t it be nice if some experts, for example, those who handle particularly complex construction financing, were stationed at Farnhorst or Novochausen? Anyone planning a large multi-family home as a million-dollar project with penthouses is usually already on the road a lot by car. He may be happy that he gets an immediate parking spot in the small places in Sparkas. In Sake you have to turn around.

I am in favor of the S emblem not disappearing from the small towns. The locations need to become special centers. The usual counter business can then be carried out using a machine. And for basic services, you can set specific days and hours.

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