In comparison to the neighboring countries responsible investments in Germany have been substantially lagging. For the last ten years they have been reserved to institutional investors, higher net worth individuals and some successfull niche players with strong ethical and/or ecological focus. German highstreet banks hardly took any notice of the strong momentum and the success on the back of it. Now and without big noice ING-DiBa, the German arm of ING Group launched an offer for it’s more than €8m private clients. The bank ranks third in terms of individual banks‘ client base and currently bank administrates some €150bn assets in deposits and securities. It thus provides a broad base for how to see how the market in Germany might develop and possibly catch up.
September 16th, 2017, updated September 18th, 2017
Dr. Ralf Breuer
In it’s self-directed online investment service DiBa offers two products prominently placed and with a accompanying article on sustainabilily or better responsibility as an investment topic: An equity fund from Nordea investing in climate solutions and a BlackRock ETF on European ESG quality. Some 20% to 30% would be a natural share with regard to demographic criteria in DiBa’s client focus. Interesting to see how this is going to work out. As the bank faced strong momentum in it’s security business growing at some 15% in 2016 net new money could fuel the recently opened SRI line.
To be precise: The bank has been offering some 117 funds and ETFs labelled as ecological or sustainable beforehand. But this applies to almost all competitors as well. But these offers are mainly „amongst others“ or „if you want so“ and apart from niche players not really put in the limelight.
The bank administrated some €30.8bn in securities with €10.4bn in funds by the end of 2016. Gross inflows into funds were some €1.4bn in the course of the year thus providing critical mass for responsible investments to gain share, esp. because the bank is strongly positioned in the client group with the presumably highest affinity.
In the German banking market ING-DiBa is some sort of „odd number“: In a overall dull market said to be under fierce competition (by bankers) since 2008 it grew on average by 9% p.a. doubling market share to some 4%. Different to the sector average it also steadily reports outstanding figures on profitability and efficiency. This is based on a business model absolutely focussed on products and services where the bank can deliver price and qualitity leadership completely refraining from products where this is not the case.