Raiffeisenbank Tüngental is a local community bank based in the outskirts of Schwäbisch Hall, a town in the western state of Baden-Württemberg. It’s one of Germany’s smallest cooperative banks – and it just might be the smallest bank anywhere in Europe. It has four employees, including the two members of its management board, a balance sheet total of just €27 million ($28.6 million) and around 900 retail customers.
Andreas Stein, one of the two managers, wants things to stay that way. He is keen for Raiffeisenbank Tüngental to remain independent, describing his business as a “retro bank.” The manager also wants to keep offering services such as coin sorting free of charge, something for which most other banks charge €5 these days.
“Mergers are not a solution,” Mr. Stein said.
That stands in contrast to dozens of other German cooperative banks, known as Volksbanken and Raiffeisenbanken, which are in the process of merging or planning to merge in the coming months and years.