The Deutsche Genossenschaftskasse
The Deutschlandkasse lost not only its headquarters, which were located in East Berlin, but also virtually all its banking assets, which consisted almost exclusively of practically worthless bonds issued by the Third Reich. For this reason, it was decided to set up a successor bank, the Deutsche Genossenschaftskasse (DGK) in Frankfurt am Main. This created an important prerequisite for the cooperative banks’ successful development in West Germany. The new central institution was founded in 1949 with Andreas Hermes playing a crucial role in its establishment with his political and economic influence.
Separate development in East and West
The introduction of the Social Market Economy allowed the reconstruction of independent cooperatives based on voluntary mutual help and democratic decision-making. But in the planned economy pertaining in the Soviet Occupation Zone the cooperatives lost their characteristic features. While the planned economy left the local cooperative banks in the German Democratic Republic little scope for development, the local and agricultural credit cooperatives in the Federal Republic of Germany benefited from the Economic Miracle. The number of cooperative members grew rapidly and the cooperative sector was able to increase its market share.