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The Norddeutsche Landesbank Girozentrale (abbreviated NORD/LB) is a German Landesbank and one of the largest commercial banks in Germany. It is a public corporation majority-owned by the federal states of Lower Saxony and Saxony-Anhalt with its head office in Hanover and branches in Braunschweig and Magdeburg. Regional Sparkassen hold a minority stake of 35 percent.[2]

Norddeutsche Landesbank Girozentrale
Public-law institution
IndustryBanking
FoundedJuly 1, 1970
HeadquartersHanover, Germany
Key people
Thomas Bürkle (CEO)
Reinhold Hilbers (Chairman of the Supervisory Board)
ProductsFinancial services
Total assetsDecrease € 160 billion (2018)[1]
Number of employees
6,453 (2017)
Websitewww.nordlb.com

HistoryEdit

 
NORD/LB head office in Hanover designed by Behnisch Architekten

BeginningsEdit

NORD/LB was established in 1765 as Braunschweigische Staatsbank. Under the current name, the bank started its business on 1 July 1970. The main areas of specialization of NORD/LB are investment banking, agricultural and real estate banking, corporate finance, ship and aircraft financing and private banking. NORD/LB maintains branch offices in all major financial and trading centers, including London (since 1985), Singapore (since 2004) and New York City (since 1991). Today, NORD/LB is Germany's largest bank for national and international bond issues.

In 1992, a new state treaty between the federal states of Lower Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt and Mecklenburg Western-Pomerania was signed so that NORD/LB; NORD/LB became the first landesbank owned by three German federal states. Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania sold its stake in NORD/LB in 2005.

Financial crisis of 2007-2010Edit

Before the financial crisis of 2007–2008, NORD/LB, like many German banks, pushed into lending to companies transporting the world's burgeoning trade in goods and raw materials, propelling Germany to the top spot in ship lending worldwide.[3] Following the crisis, it joined peers such as HSH Nordbank, Commerzbank, Deutsche Hypothekenbank and KfW in taking large writedowns and boosting capital buffers against the risk of shipping loans turning sour.[4]

In 2010, NORD/LB sold its minority share in DnB NORD to Norwegian DNB ASA. Similar to other public lenders, it opted for additional support from its regional state owners instead of drawing on help from SoFFin, the federal government’s bail-out scheme.[5]

RestructuringEdit

By 2016, however, NORD/LB still saw a record loss of 1.96 billion euros ($2.1 billion), caused by 2.94 billion euros in provisions for bad shipping loans.[6] As a result, it took full control of its loss-making Bremer Landesbank (BLB) unit, which suffered particularly from a weak shipping market that was chipping away at its capital.[7]

Between 2016 and 2017, NORD/LB engaged in – ultimately unsuccessful – negotiations on selling a $1.5 billion portfolio of shipping loans to KKR Credit and a sovereign wealth fund.[8][9] By late 2016, it still had about 8 billion euros in non-performing shipping loans in its books.[10]

In 2016, NORD/LB also tasked N M Rothschild & Sons with advising it on options for its restructuring, including the sale of Deutsche Hypothekenbank.[11] By the end of 2017, Aareal Bank and Deutsche Pfandbriefbank (PBB) were expected to hand in final offers for Deutsche Hypo, with the bids valuing the bank at more than 0.7 times its book value of about 700 million euros.[12] That year, the bank turned a small profit.[13] In January 2018, NORD/LB decided not to sell after all.[14] Instead, it sold the majority of its asset management arm to M. M. Warburg & Co..[15] Also, several banks and investment firms – Advent International, Apollo Global Management, Centerbridge Partners, Cerberus Capital Management, Christofferson, Robb & Company, Commerzbank and Helaba – submitted bids for a stake in the bank[16] and a 3.5 billion euro ($3.98 billion) capital injection.[17] Eventually, Cerberus and Centerbrigde submitted a joint offer, suggesting to each acquire a 24.9 per cent stake.[18] Helaba ended up not handing in a final offer and was therefore no longer part of the formal auction process, but talks between NORD/LB and Helaba stakeholders continued throughout the bidding process on whether a public-sector solution could be found.[19]

Meanwhile, in October 2018, NORD/LB scored worst among German lenders in the European Banking Authority's EU-wide stress tests.[20] It also incurred a record loss of more than 2 billion euros.[21]

Under a last-minute 3.5 billion euros rescue plan for NORD/LB presented in early 2019, the Deutscher Sparkassen- und Giroverband (DSGV) provided about 1.2 billion euros in fresh equity. Lower Saxony’s state government – then led by Minister-President Stephan Weil − provided another 1.5 billion euros in cash plus an unspecified amount of non-cash balance sheet support needed to close a 3.5 billion euros equity shortfall at the bank.[22] The state of Saxony-Anhalt agreed to contribute 198 million euros.[23]

In recent years, NORD/LB has developed a range of partners to bundle loan portfolios and place them with investors, working with insurers Talanx and ERGO Group, Bankhaus Lampe and Bavarian pension fund Bayerische Versorgungskammer (BVK). Its lending business runs on a joint IT platform with BayernLB.[24]

AssetsEdit

NORD/LB holds shares in various subsidiaries, including the following:

  • Braunschweigische Landessparkasse
  • Bremer Landesbank (100%)
  • Caplantic GmbH (45%)
  • Deutsche Hypothekenbank (100%)
  • KreditServices Nord (100%)
  • NORD/LB Asset Management (100%)
  • Norddeutsche Facility Management GmbH (100%)
  • LBS Norddeutsche Landesbausparkasse Berlin-Hannover (44%)
  • NORD/LB Luxembourg S.A. Covered Bond Bank (100%)
  • NORD/LB Vermögensmanagement Luxembourg S.A (100%)
  • Öffentliche Versicherung Braunschweig (75%)
  • Öffentliche Versicherung Bremen (20%)
  • Nord Holding (15%)
  • Toto-Lotto Niedersachsen (49.85%)
  • Bremer Toto und Lotto (33.33%)
  • International Neuroscience Institute (22.67%)
  • Porzellanmanufaktur Fürstenberg (98%)
  • LHI Leasing GmbH (49%)

Between 1973 and 2010, NORD/LB held a 25 percent share in Berenberg Bank.[25]

Art collectionEdit

In 1985 NORD/LB started to build up an art collection with the aim of representing post-1945 modern art in an international context. The collection today comprises about 3,000 artworks, still with an emphasis on postwar art, including Georg Baselitz, Joseph Beuys, Gerhard Richter, Sol LeWitt, Jeff Koons, Jannis Kounellis and Jörg Immendorff, among others.[26] Employees can use the works to decorate the buildings, and they are displayed within the bank's own exhibition program. In 1999 it was able to open the exhibition space of its own.

In 2009, NORD/LB returned Franz Marc's Cat Behind a Tree (1910), a painting the bank had bought in 1983, to the descendant of a Jewish shoe-manufacturing family persecuted by the Nazis; the bank had loaned the painting long-term to the Sprengel Museum in Hanover. In 2012, the bank sold its Jeff Koons sculpture, Tulips (1995-2004), from the “Celebration” series for 33.7 million dollars. The bank announced to use the proceeds to set up a foundation to promote contemporary art and cultural projects in northern Germany.[27]

In ChinaEdit

  • On March 10, 2004, NORD/LB recived a letter from the China Banking Regulatory Commission, approving the opening of a branch in Shanghai.[28]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Olaf Storbeck (November 2, 2018), Germany’s Landesbanken still seeking clean bill of health Financial Times.
  2. ^ Olaf Storbeck (November 2, 2018), Germany’s Landesbanken still seeking clean bill of health Financial Times.
  3. ^ Thomas Atkins (May 28, 2015), NordLB sees Q1 profit jump as shipping, hedges perform Reuters.
  4. ^ Arno Schuetze (July 12, 2017), German lender NordLB prepares unit sale to repair balance sheet - sources Reuters.
  5. ^ Daniel Schäfer (November 30, 2008), BayernLB set for €10bn bail-out Financial Times.
  6. ^ Alexander Hübner (April 6, 2017), NordLB sufficiently capitalised to swallow record 2016 loss -CEO Reuters.
  7. ^ Maria Sheahan (September 1, 2016), NordLB to take full control of Bremer Landesbank unit Reuters.
  8. ^ Maria Sheahan (August 22, 2016), NordLB to sell $1.5 bln worth of shipping loans to KKR, fund Reuters.
  9. ^ Arno Schuetze, Alexander Hübner and Jonathan Saul (July 3, 2017), NordLB drops plans to sell shipping loans to KKR Reuters.
  10. ^ Nicholas Brautlecht (November 28, 2016), HSH Said to Confirm Outlook as Talks With Potential Buyers Start Bloomberg News.
  11. ^ Arno Schuetze (July 12, 2017), German lender NordLB prepares unit sale to repair balance sheet - sources Reuters.
  12. ^ Arno Schuetze, Klaus Lauer and Jonathan Saul (November 29, 2017), Three rivals vie to buy Germany's HSH Nordbank Reuters.
  13. ^ Klaus Lauer (July 14, 2018), Germany's NordLB targets new capital plan by end of 2018: chairman Reuters.
  14. ^ Klaus Lauer and Hans Seidenstuecker (January 5, 2018), NordLB drops plans to sell Deutsche Hypo property lender - source Reuters.
  15. ^ Arno Schuetze (February 1, 2018), NordLB sells majority of asset management arm to Warburg Bank Reuters.
  16. ^ Arno Schuetze and Hans Seidenstücker (October 25, 2018), Credit manager emerges as bidder for stake in Germany's NordLB -sources Reuters.
  17. ^ Caroline Copley and Hans Seidenstuecker (January 3, 2019), Germany's NordLB, Helaba end merger talks: Boersen-Zeitung Reuters.
  18. ^ Olaf Storbeck (January 26, 2019), Cerberus and Centerbridge seek minority stake in NordLB Financial Times.
  19. ^ Arno Schuetze and Klaus Lauer (December 18, 2018), NordLB in talks to sell ship loans to Cerberus, stake in bank: sources Reuters.
  20. ^ Jonathan Saul, Arno Schuetze and Maiya Keidan (November 9, 2018), NordLB to shed ship loans early in balance sheet clean-up -sources Reuters.
  21. ^ Klaus Lauer (April 1, 2019), NordLB 2018 annual loss to be less than 2.7 bln euro estimate - sources Reuters.
  22. ^ Olaf Storbeck (February 1, 2019), Lower Saxony backs German savings banks’ rescue plan for NordLB Financial Times.
  23. ^ Klaus Lauer (April 2, 2019), NordLB to refrain from ships financing business in the future: source Reuters.
  24. ^ Andreas Kröner (March 22, 2015), German landesbanks relieve merger pressure through cooperation Reuters.
  25. ^ NordLB verkauft Anteil an Berenberg Bank Handelsblatt, February 2, 2010.
  26. ^ Catherine Hickley (March 23, 2009), NordLB Returns Franz Marc’s Cat Painting to Jewish Family Heir Bloomberg.
  27. ^ Julia Michalska (October 9, 2012), German bank to sell Koons's Tulips The Art Newspaper.
  28. ^ http://www.cbrc.gov.cn/chinese/home/docView/xzxk_421067FBC4404746900F65365D1EECC8.html

External linksEdit