379,000 euros. This is how much savings bank managers earned on average in 2021. Actually, their mission is non-profit. They should provide their business area with monetary and credit services and promote the accumulation of wealth by their customers. As a study now shows, they not only promote the accumulation of wealth by their customers, but also that of their board members quite vigorously.

The Public Pay Study by Zeppelin University examined the remuneration of public companies, which also includes the savings banks. But their bosses earn more than all other bosses of municipal companies. The top managers in hospitals earned 238,000 euros, in the energy and water supply sector as well as municipal utilities it was 231,000 euros. Did the savings bank board members really deserve so much more?

Anyone who is now tearing up their savings account, which until recently had low interest rates, is right to do so. (Even if it’s still not recommended, of course.) Saving banks in particular like to pretend to be close. During the conversation, the advisors ask about the children, remember that we drink our coffee with milk and without sugar – and thus give the feeling: I’m not being ripped off here. Now it’s not the consultants who skim off the fat salary, but their bosses also met for a long time for the annual Sparkasse day with the motto: “Fair. Human. Close.” Above all, the “fair” should stick in their throats at the next meeting.

The 379,000 euros are really just an average, some cases are much more extreme. In 2021, three senior employees of the Kreissparkasse München Starnberg Ebersberg earned an income in the seven-digit range. The best-paid manager was paid between €2.5 million and €3 million. Another manager earned between EUR 1.5 million and EUR 2 million, while the third manager earned between EUR 1 million and EUR 1.5 million. Stadtsparkasse München can also proudly present three income millionaires.

At the savings banks in Essen, Holstein and at Stadtsparkasse Düsseldorf, two senior employees each receive seven-figure salaries. This shows that lucrative incomes can also be achieved in northern Germany. Haspa Finanzholding’s 2021 disclosure report reveals six top earners. Two of them had incomes between 2 million and 2.5 million euros, three others were in the range of 1.5 million to 2 million euros, while one person had incomes between 1 million and 1.5 million euros.

The evaluation is also difficult because only 34 percent of top managers disclose their individual salaries. Savings bankers obviously shy away from the debate about their salaries. Perhaps they themselves suspect: My income cannot be justified.

But maybe they just misinterpreted one paragraph of the Savings Banks Act: Despite being a non-profit organization, they are supposed to compete with private-sector banks. However, this does not mean manager salaries, but simply good service, good products and maybe also: good coffee.