Joint statement—Hamburg’s financial sector agrees close cooperation to implement coronavirus shield

Mar 23 2020

Hamburg Hamburger Sparkasse, Hamburger Volksbank, Investitions- und Förderbank, Bankenverband Hamburg and Finanzplatz Hamburg, as well as the Hamburg tax authorities, have agreed to cooperate closely to implement a protective shield in Hamburg for companies and institutions suffering from damage caused by coronavirus. The parties have issued the following joint statement today:

In cooperation with all parties involved, Hamburg has the financial and economic strength to cope with the economic consequences of the coronavirus epidemic. The federal government has launched an aid programme worth billions, as well as special tax and labour market policy measures, which are constantly being added to and readjusted. The Hamburg Senate has set up a protective Hamburg umbrella for companies and institutions in our city impacted by coronavirus, which provides concrete answers to challenges specific to Hamburg and is now being implemented step by step.

Together with our contact in the Senate, Hamburg’s Senator for Finance, we want to make it clear in this joint statement that we, as Hamburg’s financial sector, want to do our part to help Hamburg get through the crisis as well as it possibly can. We want to make full use of the leeway to help Hamburg companies in need in cooperation with the federal and state governments’ aid programmes, KfW and IFB’s loan programmes, and in cooperation with the responsible authorities, with particular reference to the financial and economic authorities. We are making it clear that the federal government, the state and the financial sector are working together: together, we will not abandon the many people who are self-employed and the many companies in all industries and of all sizes in this difficult situation!

To be able to honour this fundamental pledge of support, this ‘Hamburg solidarity’, we are also building on the good and trusting cooperation between the financial sector and the tax authorities, who assumed responsibility for the financial sector from spring 2018 onwards. We will coordinate the respective support measures with each other well and offer a one-stop service, e.g. by passing on loans. Within this context, appropriate framework conditions are indispensable: for just as financial policy is now creating the framework for the state and the city to help, in the current emergency situation, the respective requirements for the financial sector must also be taken into account in order to be able to help the banks as unbureaucratically as we all want this to happen. If we come together, everyone can and will make a central contribution in their role to help this city get through this crisis.

Hamburg is acting and helping—Hamburg’s financial sector is getting involved!

Dr. Harald Vogelsang, Chairman of Hamburger Sparkasse’s Executive Board and President of Finanzplatz Hamburg: “Hamburger Sparkasse is now acting quickly and with purpose. We have put together an assistance package for our clients which can be accessed from today. This is our contribution to limiting the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic and we are reliably supporting our corporate clients. All Finanzplatz Hamburg banks are also taking their responsibility seriously and are doing their utmost to ensure that our city’s economic cycle can be maintained. Finanzplatz Hamburg employees are doing a great job for their private and corporate clients despite the immense pressure they are under, and are supporting them through this crisis with all of the resources they have at their disposal.”

Dr. Reiner Brüggestrat, Spokesman of Hamburger Volksbank’s Executive Board: “Now is the hour for banks. Hamburg’s financial sector is taking on joint responsibility and joining forces in order to be a reliable partner for Hamburg’s small and medium-sized enterprises even in this difficult situation. The full utilisation of aid programmes is our Hamburg response to the many calls for help that are reaching us at the moment: together with the Hamburg Senate, the federal government and above all the Senator for Finance, we want to prevent companies in Hamburg from ceasing to exist and people losing jobs. As Hamburger Volksbank, we have expanded our capacities and rolled up our sleeves in the spirit of solidarity to be there for our corporate clients as an active crisis business—with fast and straightforward assistance. ‘Acting and helping’—Hamburg demonstrates clarity and solidarity especially in times of crisis.”

Marcus Vitt, Chairman of Bankenverband Hamburg e.V.’s Executive Board (Spokesman of Donner & Reuschel AG’s Executive Board): “Private banks will always stand firmly by their clients’ side and will take all steps necessary to bring liquidity to companies quickly and in an unbureaucratic way. The responsible company departments worked throughout the weekend to ensure that applications could be submitted from 23 March onwards and that decisions could be made quickly and efficiently. The primary concern is to remove the bureaucratic requirements that are currently in place. With respect to working from home and potential lockdowns, the operational burden of KfW and banks processing special programmes will be immense. We expect several tens of thousands of applications within a very short time, but promise to do our very best for our clients.”

Ralf Sommer, Chairman of Hamburgische Investitions- und Förderbank’s Executive Board: “Thanks to the decisions made over the past few days and the clear commitment of the banks and the city to help those affected, a basis has now been created for implementing aid in the short term. Hamburg will overcome this crisis with solidarity and level-headedness from everyone.”

Senator for Finance, Dr. Andreas Dressel: “To cushion the economic and social impact of coronavirus, we must and will all help to make this happen. And all of those affected must know that they should check and use all offers of help currently available. We want to protect employees and companies of all sizes and from all industries. However, close cooperation with the financial sector is a key requirement for implementing the many aid measures emerging from federal and state governments. Banks now have a crucial role to play. It is a really good sign that all of the major players in Hamburg’s financial sector have today pledged their support for this alliance. This is how we are sending a signal to the city that the economy and society can rely on the aid promises made by politicians and banks. This creates trust and confidence for the difficult road ahead. Hamburg’s tax authorities and financial sector will follow and support this path in close cooperation.”

Finanzplatz Hamburg e.V.
c/o Handelskammer Hamburg
Adolphsplatz 1
20457 Hamburg