Joachim Nagel: The digital euro - an opportunity for Europe

Speech by Dr Joachim Nagel, President of the Deutsche Bundesbank, at the autumn meeting of the Wildbader Kreis, Darmstadt, 6 November 2023.

The views expressed in this speech are those of the speaker and not the view of the BIS.

Central bank speech  | 
14 November 2023


Ladies and gentlemen,

I am delighted to be joining you today as a guest speaker at this year's Wildbader Kreis autumn meeting. Thank you very much for inviting me.

Savings banks are an integral component of the German financial industry. Last year, savings banks accounted for 15% of the aggregated total assets of all banks domiciled in Germany. And the share is far larger – twice as large, to be precise – if we're looking at loans to households and non-financial corporations. The savings banks group, then, has an important role to play in tackling the challenges that the future brings with it. 

One of these is a growing customer preference to bank digitally. The coronavirus pandemic added to this trend. The savings banks group has likewise embarked on a mission to make its business more digital in response.

And digital transformation is what I want to talk about in my speech today, too. Over the past half-century, the financial industry has been at the vanguard where this global megatrend is concerned. There's one example I dare say we're all familiar with: ATMs. Because, in many ways, the ATM has been a trailblazer in terms of cutting-edge digital technology. The accelerometers, biometric scanners and micro-cameras built into our smartphones today were road-tested in ATMs years earlier.