Ladies and gentlemen,
In many respects, 2020 was an exceptional year. The coronavirus pandemic brought many changes to everyday working lives, but together with the low interest rate environment it also brought about major growth in dwpbank's business. Heavy technical and personal burdens were countered by great economic success.
The slump on the equity markets in spring 2020 was followed by a rapid recovery over the rest of the year, which the DAX closed up roughly 3.5%. This resulted in 45.5 million transactions settled at dwpbank, an increase of roughly 62% on the figure for the previous year. We recorded approximately 5.3 million transactions in March alone, which set an all-time monthly record for our Company.
million transactions in a single month is a record in dwbank's history
These developments were driven by various factors: Interest rates remain low, causing ever more investors to turn to securities in search of returns. Securities savings plans experienced a veritable boom as a result, with our clients recording 703,000 existing savings plans in 2020, up some 63% year on year. In addition, more and more investors are managing their securities via the online channels offered by their bank or savings bank – another effect of the pandemic.
Securities savings plans experienced a veritable boom as a result, with our clients recording 703,000 existing savings plans in 2020, up some 63% year on year.
There was more money available than before the pandemic: the savings ratio of German households rose to 16.3% in 2020 following 10.9% in the previous year. This market situation did not just result in more securities accounts in the past year – the number of securities held in them also rose, climbing by some 10%. We believe that this trend is here to stay.
The rush in demand for our systems in the spring caused isolated setbacks as IT failures temporarily halted trading. Nevertheless, the usual level of operational stability was quickly restored thanks to steps taken in the short and medium term. To additionally make our infrastructure fit for future challenges, we are using MoveWP3 to continuously refine our system platform. The goal is greater flexibility, efficiency and quality.
The securities savings product family will grow. We also made significant progress in our blockchain project, finledger.
As well as amendments of a technical nature, we also successfully set in motion further organisational changes in 2020: there is now closer cooperation between IT and Operations to further improve products and services. There is a notable increase in agile working at dwpbank. These changes are supported by our HR development programme, under which we are fostering promising employees.
With respect to new product launches, in the past year we laid the key groundwork to be able to offer several new savings plan products in 2021. The securities savings product family will grow. We also made significant progress in our blockchain project, finledger: in 2020 we successfully deployed one of the key technologies of the future to make the settlement of promissory note loans quicker, more secure and fully digital.
Developments on the securities market remain a source of suspense and a challenge. It may well be that the tasks were never so interesting, the opportunities never so great. Market participants are taking stock of the situation differently, and the risks in the market are not to be ignored. Nevertheless, we see major opportunities in the market's considerable momentum, the many technological innovations and the trend towards securities as a basis to make financial provisions. For this reason, we will continue to work hard in 2021 to affirm and expand our position as market leader. We are securities service!
Dr. Heiko Beck