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German banking: The quest for a German national champion

They’re proud of their embassies in Berlin. Take a tour of the German capital and soon after passing the building shared by five Nordic countries your guide will point to three more embassies clustered together – those of South Africa, India and… Baden-Württemberg. It’s a symbol of Germany’s decentralization that is particularly apparent in its banking system. So is there room for – or even need of – a national champion? Philip Moore reports.


IT SAYS MUCH about Germany that almost two decades after reunification, and several years after the creation of the eurozone, states of the German federation such as Baden-Württemberg feel that they need to maintain individual embassies in the German capital, while the sovereign nations of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden get by with a shared building. Then again, the economy of Baden-Württemberg is so different to that of Berlin that it might as well be a foreign country.

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