Dhe weather didn't quite cooperate, but the location for this message was actually well chosen: from the terrace of Laubenheimer Höhe in Mainz from the visitor has a wide view, at least on a clear day. If it's not hazy, like on Tuesday, you could see large parts of the business area on the left and right of the Rhine from here, which is now being created by the merger of two Volksbanks in the region.
With the merger of the Mainzer Volksbank and the Volksbank Darmstadt-Südhessen, a new major player emerged in the field of cooperative banks in the region, which is now on an equal footing with the Frankfurter Volksbank, as a look at the figures shows. Because Mainz and Darmstadt together they have a balance sheet total of 13.2 billion euros and a customer volume of 28.3 billion euros, which is spread over 450,000 customers and is looked after by around 1,600 employees.
"Two strong Volksbanks in the Rhein-Main metropolitan region are merging," says Uwe Abel, Chairman of the Board of Mainzer Volksbank. Together they create a bank that is still regionally rooted, but in the new constellation is also able to "master the major challenges of the future". The Mainzer Volksbank is the larger of the two partners with a balance sheet total of 8.1 billion euros and a managed customer volume of 16.6 billion euros, but it is a merger on an equal footing, said Abel.
The head of the bank emphasized that the merger was not born out of necessity, but is currently taking place out of a situation of strength; however, the challenges in the industry are so great that they can be better met together. Abel included, for example, regulatory issues that made it necessary for employees to specialize, but also competition from branchless neo-banks, for example, or the difficult question of how to find and retain the right specialists.
Desired reduction of the number of employees
The merger creates a bank whose business area extends from Hochheim to the gates of Mannheim on the one hand and from Bingen to beyond Darmstadt on the other. The merger follows a dynamic in the market that can be seen nationwide, where smaller cooperative banks merge into larger ones (such as recently the Rüsselsheimer in the Frankfurter Volksbank) or large players join forces - which is also reflected in the number of institutes and Bank offices down.
The new Volksbank, which will legally have its headquarters in Mainz, but wants to house all units decentrally in both business areas, is now the second largest of its kind in the region after Frankfurt, explained Abel. He and the two CEOs from Darmstadt, Matthias Martiné and Michael Mahr, are hoping for synergy effects: On the one hand, certain positions do not have to be filled twice; on the other hand, this in turn allows specialists to be hired in individual fields in order to be able to serve customers better, for example from lucrative sectors such as renewable energies, medicine or agriculture.