Annual Report 2016

DZ BANK Group

Partners in the Volksbanken Raiffeisenbanken cooperative financial network

The DZ BANK Group forms part of the German cooperative financial network, which includes around 1,000 local cooperative banks and is one of Germany’s largest private-sector financial services organizations measured in terms of total assets. Within the cooperative financial network, DZ BANK AG functions as the central institution and is responsible for supporting the business of the cooperative banks in their regions and strengthening their competitiveness. It also operates as a corporate bank and acts as the holding company for the DZ BANK Group.

The DZ BANK Group includes Bausparkasse Schwäbisch Hall, DG HYP, DZ PRIVATBANK, R+V Versicherung, TeamBank, Union Investment Group, VR LEASING Group, WL BANK and various other specialized institutions. With their strong brands, the entities in the DZ BANK Group constitute key pillars in the range of financial products and services offered by the cooperative financial network. The DZ BANK Group sets on its strategy and range of services for the cooperative banks and their customers through its four business lines – Retail Banking, Corporate Banking, Capital Markets, and Transaction Banking.

This combination of banking, insurance, home savings, and personal investment products and services has a long and successful tradition in the cooperative financial network. The specialized institutions in the DZ BANK Group provide highly competitive products at reasonable prices within their specific areas of expertise. This ensures that the cooperative banks in Germany are able to offer their clients a comprehensive range of outstanding financial services.

Strong brands – strong partners

Some of the DZ BANK Group’s brands

DG HYP

DG HYP is the commercial real estate bank of the Volksbanken Raiffeisenbanken cooperative financial network and a leading provider of finance in this sector in Germany. Business activities are focused on financing properties in the German market, specifically in the core segments of office, residential, and retail properties. Target clients are private and institutional investors, housing companies, as well as commercial and residential real estate developers. DG HYP has a nationwide presence throughout Germany with six Real Estate Centres in Hamburg, Berlin, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, Stuttgart, and Munich, and regional offices in Hanover, Kassel, Leipzig, Mannheim and Nuremberg. DG HYP focuses on a clear business model with a robust funding structure. In doing so, it has developed an enviable reputation as a reliable finance partner, building and retaining long-term client relationships based upon consistency and continuity. These are all key factors that have helped the bank successfully position itself in the market. The central business policy role of DG HYP – as a specialist, center of competence, and first point of contact for around 1,000 local cooperative banks – is to anchor the importance of commercial real estate finance, and the opportunities it presents, in the cooperative financial network and to realise financing solutions together. with the cooperative banks. To this end, DG HYP offers the local cooperative banks a highly efficient range of products and services tailored to their specific needs. Both sides of this partnership benefit from the joint marketing – DG HYP from the local customer contacts enjoyed by the primary banks in their respective regions, and the local cooperative banks from the business relationships arising from developing the market throughout Germany.
 

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DVB Bank SE

DVB Bank SE (DVB), headquartered in Frankfurt/Main, Germany, is specialised in the international Transport Finance business. The Bank offers integrated financing solutions and advisory services in respect of Shipping Finance, Aviation Finance, Offshore Finance and Land Transport Finance.

DVB is present at all key international financial centres and transport hubs: at its Frankfurt/Main head office, as well as various European locations (Amsterdam, Athens, Hamburg, London, Oslo and Zurich), plus offices in the Americas (New York City and Curaçao) and in Asia (Singapore and Tokyo).

In 2016, DVB was awarded the following renowned accolades:

  1. Customer oriented webpages – Predicate Gold (DIE WELT, January 2016)
  2. Export Credit Agency – West; Deal of the Year 2015 (Marine Money Shipping, June 2016)
  3. Bank Debt – West; Deal of the Year 2015 (Marine Money Shipping, June 2016)
  4. Europe Deal of the Year (Airfinance Journal, May 2016)
  5. Used Aircraft Deal of the Year (Airfinance Journal, May 2016)
  6. Aircraft Finance Portfolio Acquisition (Global Transport Finance, January 2017)
  7. Aircraft Securitisation Deal of the Year – US (Global Transport Finance, January 2017)
  8. Rail Capital Markets Deal of the Year – Americas (Global Transport Finance, January 2017)
  9. Rail Finance Deal of the Year – Americas (Global Transport Finance, January 2017)
  10. Best International Transport Finance Provider – Germany (Transport News, February 2017)

DVB Bank SE is listed at the Frankfurt Stock Exchange (ISIN: DE0008045501). Further information is available on:
 

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DZ BANK AG

DZ BANK is the second-largest commercial bank in Germany and the central institution in the Volksbanken Raiffeisenbanken cooperative financial network. It is the central institution for all cooperative banks in Germany, which number around 1,000 and hold the majority of its shares. Under the tagline ‘DZ BANK. Die Initiativbank’, it supports the business of the independent local cooperative banks with the aim of strengthening their competitiveness. The combination of local customer knowledge and central product expertise has proved to be highly effective.

DZ BANK's range of products and services extends from classic and innovative products, structuring, and issues, to trading and sales in the equity and bond markets. DZ BANK also acts as a corporate bank for businesses and institutions. It maintains branches and representative offices in key economic regions around the globe, helping businesses to further their international activities.

DZ BANK also acts as a holding company for the entities in the DZ BANK Group, each of which has its own strong brand and constitutes a key pillar in the range of financial products and services offered by the cooperative financial network.

DZ BANK aims to offer high quality not only for its customers, but also for its employees. With this in mind, it regularly arranges for its services as an employer to be reviewed by third parties. For example, for almost ten years in succession, the Bank has been singled out as one of Germany's top 100 employers by the Top Employers Institute. For just as long the Bank has also regularly been awarded the 'audit berufundfamilie' certificate for its family-friendly HR activities. Likewise, DZ BANK's appeal as an employer of choice for university graduates has been confirmed for a number of years by its ranking in the Universum Top 100 employers and in the trendence Graduate Barometer survey.
 

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TeamBank AG

TeamBank AG with its easyCredit product family is the liquidity management specialist in the Volksbanken Raiffeisenbanken cooperative financial network. It provides integrated, innovative products and services that give customers easy access to liquidity wherever they are and whenever they want. A key element of the digital ecosystem is the seamless cross-media payment process ratenkauf by easyCredit, which was successfully launched on the market in 2016. Last year, TeamBank also became one of the first providers to offer a fully digitalized and integrated solution for concluding contracts. This means customers can sign up for the easyCredit product whether they are at home using a computer or on the go using a smartphone.

In 2016, the number of customers increased by 2.6 percent to 638,000. Working with its partner banks, which include 93 new or reactivated cooperative banks, TeamBank significantly stepped up its collaboration with the local cooperative banks last year. The core easyCredit product is now available in 85 percent of all local cooperative banks in Germany.

Once again, easyCredit won the „Fairness im Ratenkredit“ seal of approval. This certificate was awarded by DQS GmbH following a specific audit. Moreover, in the 'turning the page' study carried out by Facit Research, customers rated easyCredit as the most sustainable financial service provider in 2016. For the third time in succession, Nuremberg-based TeamBank received audit berufundfamilie certification for its family-friendly and sustainable HR policy. And for the fourth time, TeamBank was crowned employer of the year in the prestigious TOP JOB competition in 2016.
 

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DZ PRIVATBANK

DZ PRIVATBANK is a cooperative private bank, specializing in customized solutions for high-net-worth individuals. It is the center of competence for private banking, fund services, and lending in all currencies with focus on the German-speaking market and the close cooperation with the cooperative financial network. DZ PRIVATBANK operates from ten locations in Germany – Hamburg, Hannover, Oldenburg, Berlin, Leipzig, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Stuttgart, Nuremberg, Munich – and has offices at the international financial centres of Luxembourg (headquarter) and Zurich. The bank has established itself as one of the top 10 private banking providers in Germany based on assets under management of €17 billion and a high quality of advice – the latter regularly confirmed by awards from independent testers such as 'Elite Report' and 'Verlag FUCHSBRIEFE'. Its range of services extends from traditional asset management, financial and pension planning, advice on charitable foundations, and real estate consulting to the issuing of funds and financing. The option of diversify assets across accounts in Germany, Luxembourg, and Switzerland as well as the provision of specialized products in each country are further pillars in a comprehensive portfolio of services for wealthy private customers, business and institutional clients. The combination of local, national and international wealth management expertise with cooperative values such as partnership, stability and security makes DZ PRIVATBANK's business model unique. As they say at DZ PRIVATBANK: "Weil nicht nur zählt, was zählbar ist" – "Things you can count are not the only things that count".
 

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ReiseBank

ReiseBank is Germany’s market leader in the area of travel payment means and is one of the country’s highest-grossing precious metal traders. At the end of 2016, it had 92 branches at airports, in railway stations, at border crossings and in attractive city centre locations. These also offer cash transfer services, the bank’s own prepaid payment cards and other services for travellers. In many places, these branches are open seven days a week and always have an extensive array of foreign currencies and tailored precious metal options. This wholly owned DZ BANK AG subsidiary also provides more than 800 banks belonging to the cooperative financial network and their customers with foreign currency and precious metals through institutional trading and a mail order service and additionally manages new digital payment transaction models for the cooperative financial network. Orders for foreign currency and precious metals can also be processed via sales channels integrated into the partner banks’ online banking or via ReiseBank’s online shop. Based on its experience of operating its own stationary and mobile ATMs, ReiseBank acts as a full-service provider in the area of cash management, operating ATM solutions for third-party banks. Based in Frankfurt, ReiseBank has more than 550 employees hailing from 50+ countries and was awarded a certificate as Top SME Employer for the third consecutive year in 2017.
 

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R+V Versicherung

R+V Versicherung is one of the leading insurance companies in Germany and has been on a growth trajectory for many years now. It is the second largest insurer in the country in both the life and non-life sectors. Based in Wiesbaden, R+V enjoys the trust of more than eight million customers, who have over 24 million contracts.

It forms part of the Volksbanken Raiffeisenbanken cooperative financial network and offers innovative, tailored insurance solutions. The product range encompasses all established types of insurance. For retail customers, R+V offers bespoke insurance and pension solutions. In its corporate business, R+V is traditionally closely associated with SMEs operating in industry, commerce, skilled trades, agriculture and other areas of small and medium-sized business activity, and develops specific risk mitigation strategies for these businesses. R+V also takes on inward reinsurance business around the world.

R+V's excellent financial strength has been continuously reaffirmed by leading rating agencies. For instance, S&P Global Ratings (formerly Standard & Poor’s) has repeatedly issued R+V Versicherung AG with a rating of AA– with a stable outlook, and Fitch Ratings has given R+V Lebensversicherung AG an AA rating. R+V has received a Top German Employer award and holds the Fair Company seal of approval. It also regularly occupies some of the top spots in numerous product ratings. For example, R+V Lebensversicherung AG was awarded five stars in the Finsinger ratings published by Wirtschaftswoche magazine, and the R+V KfzPolice-Plus motor vehicle policy was rated 'outstanding' by Franke and Bornberg. In the agricultural insurance business, R+V has been ranked number one for many years in the image barometer of the Deutsche Landwirtschaftsgesellschaft (DLG) [German Agricultural Society].

R+V is also committed to sustainability and has an environmental management system certified by TÜV Rheinland.
 

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Schwäbisch Hall

Schwäbisch Hall is Germany's largest institution to offer contractual savings for housing plans, with around 7.4 million customers. It is also one of the leading home finance providers. Since its establishment in 1931, Schwäbisch Hall has been firmly anchored in the cooperative financial network. The shared cooperative values – respect, solidarity, responsibility, and partnership – are expressed in Schwäbisch Hall's mission statement 'Creating and maintaining a home together'. The institution’s almost 3,800 field staff and around 3,000 inhouse employees provide customers with expert advice and support. Schwäbisch Hall also operates outside Germany. Its investee companies in eastern Europe and China have more than three million customers between them.

A commitment to employees and society is part of Schwäbisch Hall's corporate identity. The institution regularly wins awards for its systematic professional development of trainees, specialists, and managers, for its family-friendly corporate culture, and for its health management activities. Since 2013, Schwäbisch Hall has held 'audit berufundfamilie' certification, an initiative of the non-profit-making Hertie Foundation that recognizes companies with family-friendly HR policies. The company has been highly placed in the Top German Employer competition for many years. In 2017, Schwäbisch Hall was again ranked one of the top 5 employers among all financial institutions in Germany.
 

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Union Investment Group

The Union Investment Group is the fund management specialist within the cooperative financial network and has been developing investment solutions for retail and institutional investors for more than 60 years. Its 2,824 employees manage assets amounting to some €292.3 billion held in 1,258 different funds. In total, more than 4.2 million customers entrust Union Investment with their money.

Union Investment works closely with its partners in the almost 1,100 local cooperative banks to provide retail investors with investment solutions that are tailored to their individual circumstances. Multi-asset solutions, open-ended real estate funds, and fund-based saving in regular installments are especially popular products. In 2016, retail fund holdings rose to a record €123.7 billion.

As an experienced risk manager, Union Investment provides domestic and international institutional investors with asset management concepts and sustainable investment solutions. In Germany, it is the second-largest partner to institutional investors such as corporations, banks, insurers, pension funds, and charitable foundations, for which it manages some €168.6 billion.

Union Investment has won a number of awards that bear testimony to the high quality of its services. It has a particularly strong track record in respect of the Capital Fund Compass: Union Investment is the only fund management company to have received the highest rating 15 times in succession.
 

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VR Leasing Group

VR Leasing Group is the specialist in the provision of quick and convenient financing solutions for corporate and small business customers as well as freelancers within the cooperative financial network Volksbanken Raiffeisenbanken. Its activities focus on Germany’s small and medium-sized enterprises regionally rooted. The VR Leasing Group works in collaboration with the cooperative banks and other strategic partners, offering tailored solutions for leasing, loans, rental, hire purchase, factoring, and central settlement. A particular strength of the company is the provision of financing solutions using digital channels. For example, automated processes mean that the VR Leasing Group can make a decision within just a few minutes on financing with a value of up to EUR 200,000, enabling customers to plan liquidity with confidence. This kind of service is currently unique in the corporate customer’s market.

Further examples of innovative online-based products include the 'VR Leasing flexibel' business lending product and the 'VR Leasing express' hire purchase solution, which offer the possibility of instant financing up to EUR 60,000.

Continuously improving scores from customer satisfaction surveys conducted among the Volksbanken Raiffeisenbanken confirm that the VR Leasing Group is accurately meeting the needs of its customers with its digital and, above all, simple solutions. Work-life balance is also firmly established as part of the corporate culture in the VR Leasing Group. The non-profit Hertie Foundation has regularly awarded the group 'audit berufundfamilie' certification since 2013.

In addition to VR-LEASING Aktiengesellschaft, the main companies in the VR Leasing Group, whose registered office is situated in Eschborn, are VR DISKONTBANK GmbH, VR FACTOREM GmbH, and BFL Leasing GmbH.
 

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WL BANK

Established 140 years ago as “Landschaft für die Provinz Westfalen”, WL BANK has a tradition of keeping its youthful energy intact. Around 380 people are employed at the head office in Münster and at the representative and sales offices, committed to serving the bank's customers – the local cooperative banks, businesses in the institutional housing sector, funds, investors, and public-sector customers.

As a mortgage (Pfandbrief) bank, WL BANK's main business involves long-term real estate loans and lending to the public sector. It focuses on financing residential properties and also commercial real estate that can be leased out to third parties. WL BANK is tightly integrated into the Volksbanken Raiffeisenbanken cooperative financial network through the shared core banking system and works in close collaboration with the cooperative banks as a strategic partner. Within the DZ BANK Group, it also acts as a center of competence for public-sector customers.

The attractive, market-oriented terms offered by WL BANK are based on the high quality of its funding, which is derived principally from Pfandbrief issues. Pfandbriefe are issued as small-unit bearer and registered securities (including structured securities) and also in benchmark format. Rating agency S&P has given a top AAA rating to both the mortgage Pfandbriefe and the public-sector Pfandbriefe issued by WL BANK.

WL BANK regularly receives good sustainability ratings from imug and oekom research. As an employer, WL BANK was ranked 11th out of a total of 134 banks assessed on the kununu employer evaluation portal in November 2016. In 2015, the bank was listed for the second time as one of Germany's best 100 employers in the Great Place to Work awards.
 

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