Banking Supervision

Bank Boss Faults ECB Interest Conflict

Gunter Dunkel has some harsh words for the ECB.
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    The challenges roiling the German and European banking sector, particularly low interest rates, have put pressure on the industry to find new ways to shore up struggling lenders.

  • Facts


    • The Association of German Public Banks, or VÖB, has 63 members, 13 of which are subject to oversight from the ECB.
    • Its preseident Gunter Dunkel has also served as chief executive of NordLB, a regional German bank.
    • NordLB agreed to fully take over a state-supported subsidiary, Bremer Landesbank, earlier this year.
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When Gunter Dunkel leaves not one, but two high-profile posts in Germany’s banking sector later this year, it will be with mixed feelings.

The 63-year-old is planning to step aside as chief executive of NordLB, a regional bank backed by the state of Lower Saxony, later this year. Before that, he will leave his post as president of the Association of German Public Banks, also known as VÖB, which has 63 members, among them 13 of the 21 German banks overseen by the European Central Bank.

“On one hand, I have a good feeling because I gave it my all and a lot was achieved – more couldn’t have been done,” he told Handelsblatt. “On the other hand, times are more than challenging for credit institutions, and will undoubtedly stay that way in the future.”

During his tenure, the banking chief has seen much of the blame for his industry’s woes directed at the ECB, with its ultra-easy monetary policy. Those who fault the ECB alone, however, aren’t seeing the whole picture, Mr. Dunkel told Handelsblatt.

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