Mr. Stocker, did Deka’s fund and certificate sales come to a standstill after the good first half of 2020 in view of the uncertainty caused by Corona, as with some competitors?
No, just the opposite. We sold another 10 billion euros in July and August, so that we now have net sales of 25 billion euros at the end of August. We are hardly anywhere near in the past few years. Thanks to the good advice from the savings banks, two of the 10 billion are attributable to the private customer business, which means that we have increased net sales in the private customer business to 9 billion euros this year. That is very gratifying. Business with institutional clients such as insurance companies and pension funds was even better. Here we were also able to sell 8 billion euros in securities by winning a large mandate in July and August alone.
In the past, Sparkasse customers often bought shares at the wrong time, namely when euphoria among investors had already pushed prices way up. If, on the other hand, there is great uncertainty, Sparkasse customers often sell close to the bottom. What is different in this corona crisis?
Information helps against uncertainty, and we have provided it in a variety of ways: via numerous telephone conferences to the Sparkasse advisors so that they can speak to their customers. And also provided institutional customers directly with information – about Corona, but also about our view of why interest rates will remain low for a very long time. This has contributed to the fact that only a few Sparkasse customers have sold their equity funds, on the contrary, quite a few even bought in the spring. And the nice thing is that it has paid off for these level-headed Sparkasse customers to persevere. The courses have risen significantly again.
Why are you confident that Sparkasse customers will hold out even in a longer crisis phase?
A good indication of this is provided by savings plans, because with them someone decides to save permanently through securities funds. Sparkasse customers signed 356,000 new savings plans with us in the first six months of 2020, and at the end of August we had 500,000 new savings plans, so that the portfolio has grown to 5.6 million Deka-Fonds savings plans.
Deka’s tills are ringing because 80 percent of their income comes from the securities business. However, certificates are becoming more popular, and Deka only earns one money with them: when they sell. With funds, however, it also collects annual management fees. Is that why Deka is trying to sell Sparkasse customers more funds than certificates?
As the securities house of the savings banks, we want and have to offer the full range of investments: equity, real estate and pension funds, certificates and asset management now even with individual stocks. In doing so, we are guided by customer requirements. We also see no cannibalization between funds and certificates. In fact, many Sparkasse customers have both, to match their investment strategy. Of the 9 billion euros in securities sales in private customer business in 2020, certificates accounted for 3 billion euros.
How did Sparkasse customers get the sales-promoting information from Deka in the first place – after all, many people in Corona times are reluctant to leave the house and then not necessarily go to a Sparkasse branch?