Three branches of sparkasse forchheim schlieben as of 1. August. For older citizens in particular, this is tantamount to a catastrophe. The associations were informed in writing by the sparkasse that personal service in the branches in reuth, dormitz and hiltpoltstein will be discontinued as of 1 january 2009. August is no longer offered like this on site, but in the nearest branches, tells gisela geldner of the french-swiss association. Harald reinsch, a member of the savings bank’s board of management, cites the steadily increasing use of the internet and digital communication channels as a reason for this. The personal service in the branches is being used less and less."In addition, the current framework conditions created by covid-19 mean that our customers are making even greater use of our additional service offerings such as telephone customer service, the internet branch with our online banking and the savings bank app", says harald reinsch. "Online banking is a thing of the past. For the young people, this is no problem, but the older people are not familiar with it. You’re pressing a wrong button", counters geldner and leaves the end of the sentence open. Geldner cites the money transactions as the next example. As association chairwoman, she also picked up cash or paid in and got to the branch by fub or by bike. But in the future, doing business at the club will mean driving to grafenberg. "The older people first have to find someone to bring them to grafenberg. An environmental problem it is too", finds geldner. So far everything for the local supply is available in the village. The doctor, a dentist, a small supermarket, the post office and pharmacies deliver to homes. Now one branch after the other seems to be going bye-bye. "If the savings bank is at least open for business on a daily basis like the raiffeisenbank", says geldner. The cooperative bank is staffed on two days. This is what the citizens can adapt to. "You can ask and get help. The older people come to the counter with their bills and the employees fill them in", woman the local councillor of the free choice. However, the savings bank branch will not be manned for some days. Chairman of the board ewald maier summarizes the new orientation of the sparkasse: "the long-standing customer and advisor relationships will of course remain in place. Our customers will continue to be served by their existing advisor. Consultation takes place in the nearest competence center or, at the customer’s request, in the original place of business or at the customer’s home. The self-service areas will also remain and can still be used by our customers around the clock." The spontaneous completion of monetary transactions is therefore not possible. So there is only the trip to forchheim, to grafenberg or to neunkirchen am brand for the dormitzer burger.
Gisela geldner is surprised, since the savings bank branch in hiltpoltstein was renovated only half a year ago. There used to be a cafe there, but it has been demolished. Then the savings bank built a house in which the rooms for the banking business and employees are downstairs and an apartment upstairs. The managers of the savings bank call the decisions about their business outlet network a special challenge. "In addition to various key figures, we always take local characteristics into account", explains michael gobwein, head of the sales management and communications division. The fact that hiltpoltstein is rather remote and isolated from local traffic is known to the responsible parties. "This is another reason why we did not close the hiltpoltstein branch, but on the contrary modernized it only a short time ago. The self-service area will continue to be available to our customers around the clock, and we will continue to offer older people in particular the opportunity to receive advice on site, says gobwein. Hiltpoltstein mayor gisela schulze-bauer (BFH) has a completely different opinion: "the savings bank is a corporation under public law and is geared toward public benefit." The fact that the savings bank has to think economically is something it understands to a certain extent. "But a small part of public utility should remain. I see the responsibility in the care of the rural population. At least the counter could be manned for a few hours," says the artist, says schulze-bauer, who also expresses this in a letter to the bank’s managers. "The savings bank should not concentrate where it makes the most money. Otherwise, it is no different than other banks.", finds the mayor. She hopes for a reconsideration of the plan of the savings bank.
With 31 locations, sparkasse forchheim will continue to have the densest branch network of all financial service providers in the city and district of forchheim. It has 24 staffed business units, including twelve so-called competence centers, comprehensive service offerings and seven self-service locations.