A co-operative bank has become the first German lender to pass on the cost of negative interest rates to new retail customers with small deposits, in the latest sign of how the European Central Bank’s policy is upending the country’s banking sector, the Financial Times reported. Volksbank Fürstenfeldbruck, which is located 30km west of Munich and has just €1.8bn in assets, said that it will collect a “depositary charge” of -0.5 per cent on instant access savings accounts with deposits of €1 and above.
The German economy has defied expectations of a recession by growing 0.1 per cent in the third quarter as higher spending by households and the government offset a downturn in its export-focused manufacturing sector, the Financial Times reported. The mildly positive growth in the third quarter means the German economy has avoided a technical recession.
Trips and holidays by Thomas Cook Germany with a departure date of Jan. 1, 2020 or later, "cannot be commenced" even if they had already been partially or fully paid for, the tour operator announced on Tuesday, Xinhuanet reported. "We are so sorry that we have to deliver this message to our customers with departure in the new year," said Stefanie Berk, chairwoman of the management board of Thomas Cook Germany. Among others, the tour operators that are affected were Thomas Cook Signature, Thomas Cook Signature Finest Selection, Neckermann Reisen and Oeger Tours.
Italy has warned that a German proposal to complete the EU’s banking union would harm the competitiveness of the bloc’s banks, in comments heralding complex negotiations over Europe’s most ambitious integration project since the creation of the single currency, the Financial Times reported. Speaking on the margins of a gathering of eurozone finance ministers in Brussels, Roberto Gualtieri took issue with a key part of bank regulation plans laid out by his German counterpart this week in the Financial Times.
Germany’s top economic advisers have slashed their growth forecast for Europe’s largest economy, while warning that the country is suffering from global structural shifts, such as growing trade protectionism and digital disruption of traditional industries, the Financial Times reported. The Council of Economic Experts’ annual report, which it will submit to parliament on Wednesday, will make grim reading in Berlin. The council has cut its growth forecast for this year from 0.8 to 0.5 per cent and for next year from 1.7 to 0.9 per cent.
Germany’s finance minister has offered hope of a breakthrough in plans to create a full eurozone banking union by ending Berlin’s opposition to a common scheme to protect savers’ deposits, the Financial Times reported. Olaf Scholz said that Europe’s global role would be undermined if it failed to complete the integration of the eurozone’s financial sector. The plan to centralise oversight of eurozone banks was conceived seven years ago in response to the region’s deep sovereign debt crisis. “The need to deepen and complete European banking union is undeniable.
German tennis great Boris Becker has had his bankruptcy restrictions extended to 2031 after an investigation into assets and undisclosed transactions valued at more than 4.5 million pounds ($5.80 million), Reuters reported. Becker, who won six Grand Slam singles titles in his career including three at Wimbledon, was made bankrupt on June 21, 2017 in the London High Court. Under the terms of the bankruptcy order, the 51-year-old was bound to provide full disclosure of assets to the trustee and inform any lenders of his situation when seeking to borrow more than 500 pounds.
For the past year, business leaders and policymakers in central Europe have been wondering how long they can defy gravity, the Financial Times reported. The region’s economies spent the last few years in the grip of a sustained boom, powered by a friendly mix of low interest rates, surging consumer spending and a recovery in the eurozone. But since last autumn Germany — the biggest trading partner for much of central Europe — has been sliding towards recession, and many fear a knock-on effect.