Conference on Banking & the State

When:23 February 2021

The Leibniz Institute for Financial Research SAFE, the Institute for Banking and Financial History, and the eabh are jointly organizing and inviting you to submit a paper to a conference on 

Banking & the State

to be held on 23 February 2021, Frankfurt am Main

The strength of the public sector is a significant characteristic of the German banking market and has been much discussed since the 1960s, particularly from the competition angle. Although European regulation has weakened the position of public banks, the debate on the state’s involvement in banking has gained momentum since the financial crisis and the COVID-19 crisis. Recent economic research has dealt with the increasing importance of the state’s involvement in the finance sector (in Germany: Sparkassen, Landesbanken, Förderbanken), the reasons behind it and an evaluation of the effects.

We welcome paper proposals from a historical and an economic perspective that investigate:

  • the emergence and role of state-owned banks in Europe and the formation of a dichotomy between the private and public banking sectors before 1945;
  • the impact of development and other state-owned banking on the private sector in the second half of the 20th century due to the potential crowding-out/competitive effects;
  • the potential shift in the relative strength of the pillars and structure of the banking sector in the aftermath of the financial and the COVID-19 crises, the role of regulation and the European Commission’s action plan fostering the Capital Markets Union;
  • comparisons of the model of public sector development financing (Förderbanken) with the Anglo-Saxon model of private sector innovation funding (venture capital).

Please send per email a three-page abstract or a complete manuscript with a short bio (no longer than 10 lines). The deadline for submitting proposals is 31 August 2020. You will be notified whether your submission has been accepted by 31 October 2020.

Due to the Corona pandemic, the conference is now planned to be held either in a hybrid format (in-person and online contributions) or, if needed, in a virtual format.

Accommodation and travel expenses for active participants will be covered (within a set budget).

For questions please contact Carmen Hofmann or Hanna Floto-Degener.


Hugo Bänziger (eabh)

Hanna Floto-Degener (Institut für Bank- und Finanzgeschichte e.V.)

Carmen Hofmann (eabh)

Harold James (Princeton University)

Jan Pieter Krahnen (Leibniz Institute for Financial Research SAFE)

Bernd Rudolph (LMU München)

Reinhard H. Schmidt (Goethe University Frankfurt)