The German government does not want to pay back old funds from the national bank levy collected between 2011 and 2014 to the financial institutions.

This is according to a draft bill from the FDP-led Ministry of Finance, which was published on Monday. According to the draft, the approximately 2.3 billion euros are to be used to repay the debt of the Financial Market Stabilization Fund (FMS). This was created after the global financial crisis of 2008 to stabilize the industry, which was reeling at the time.

By the end of 2022, the FMS had accumulated a deficit of 21.5 billion euros. The money was used to save German banks from collapse, such as Hypo Real Estate and Commerzbank. According to the draft bill, the current decision will significantly reduce future financing costs for the federal and state governments. The Ministry of Finance, headed by Christian Lindner, pointed out that the transfer to the federal budget or to another special fund was out of the question for constitutional reasons.

From 2015, a bank levy was imposed across Europe - also as a consequence of the financial crisis. The money from this flows into the European bank resolution fund SRF. However, Germany had already levied a national levy since 2011, the old funds from the period up to 2014 of which are still in the national restructuring fund RSF and are invested by the Bundesbank.

(Report by Christian Krämer, edited by Thomas Seythal. If you have any questions, please contact our editorial team at