Full Disclosure

Salary Spotlight

Heinold DPA
Schleswig-Holstein's finance minister wants more transparency at banks.
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    The issue of bankers pay and bonuses has become a global issue. In Germany, smaller, regional banks are wading into the fray by disclosing the salaries of their senior managers. But not everyone is happy.

  • Facts


    • North Rhine-Westphalia began the disclosure efforts in 2009 and Schleswig-Holstein wants to follow suit.
    • Advocates for the banks argue the disclosure rules run afoul of data protection regulations.
    • Bosses of the major savings banks in North Rhine-Westphalia are earning up to €750,000 ($930,038) a year.
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Germany’s 416 regional savings banks, known as Sparkassen, will gladly provide information about loans and their social commitments. But most of the banks are tight-lipped when it comes to how much they pay their top executives. However, an increasing number of banks are being pressed by the German federal states to disclose their salaries.

The latest move is in the northern coastal state of Schleswig-Holstein. The coalition there consisting of the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD), the Green party, and the South-Schleswig Voters’ Association, which represents the state’s Danish-speaking minority, has reached an agreement on a draft “salary disclosure” law and the state parliamentarians are currently considering the matter and working out the details.

“Just as the salaries of ministers, deputy ministers, and members of parliament are public, the income of the managerial staff of state-owned corporations must also be no secret,” said Monika Heinold, the state finance minister and a member of the Green Party, in justifying the initiative.

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