The regional savings bank associations and their municipal sponsors want to make Bavaria’s savings bank president Ulrich Reuter head of the nationwide lobby group. Hans-Günter Henneke, 65, representative of the districts and participant of the DSGV general meeting, was also allowed to have a say.
SZ: Mr. Henneke, you spoke out in favor of the extension of incumbent Helmut Schleweis or for external candidates. The savings banks need a president “who is not completely inexperienced in Brussels and Berlin,” you wrote. The latter also applies to CSU man Ulrich Reuter, the Bavarian savings bank president, whom you now want to elect. Are you still satisfied?
Henneke: I never had and never had any doubts about Mr. Reuter’s suitability and consider him a good candidate. We must now look ahead. From the beginning of my writing, I wanted an orderly process.
With the Westphalian savings bank president Liane Buchholz, a woman had also applied for the office. For the first time in 100 years, the savings banks had the chance to elect a woman. Why was it let go?
Yes, there was a chance. But the topic woman, man played no role at all. Neither does the party book. It wasn’t about the fact that you really wanted a district administrator. It was about choosing the best possible personality.
The Savings Banks are regarded as the ancestral home of the Union. Many found it problematic that incumbent Helmut Schleweis did not have a party book.
That’s definitely not true. Helmut Schleweis is generally considered to be doing a great job. Incidentally, as far as I know, Union members are not in the majority among the heads of the association.
If you compare the CVs, then Ms. Buchholz is at least as qualified, if not even more qualified. Reuter was district administrator in Aschaffenburg for most of the time, Buchholz has been active in the savings bank world for decades. Why is he better?
I do not comment on the qualification or non-qualification of candidates. The choice of Mr. Reuter fits into my assessment horizon and I therefore consider the vote of the association directors to be understandable and justified. The DSGV needs a clear solution and a powerful acting president.
If it wasn’t about the party membership and it wasn’t about man or woman, what made the difference?
Everyone has to make an overall judgment and evaluate it, both from a professional and a personal point of view.
Women are still massively underrepresented on the boards of the savings banks, although many young women are doing an apprenticeship there and half of the customers are women. Are the savings banks a men’s association?
We must indeed work to get more women on boards. There will be a statement on this at the Sparkasse Day in Hanover. The savings banks are not misogynistic. In any case, the fact that a woman was not elected President of the DSGV has absolutely nothing to do with the correct aim of giving more consideration to women in the management of savings banks.
The municipalities would prefer to leave everything as it is with their savings banks. But will the savings banks still exist in 15 years?
Of course, just as local self-government will still exist. The savings banks face the competition and make an effort. They strive for meaningful reforms, but are also required to permanently secure the basic principles of communal roots. Even 20 years ago, there were always farewells to the savings banks. Not all of them came true.