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Our remit

What we do

What we do

Whom we represent

The National Association of German Cooperative Banks (BVR) is the umbrella association for the cooperative banking sector in Germany. Our members are all of the cooperative banks:

  • Local cooperative banks
  • PSD banks
  • Sparda banks
  • Banking institution for churches
  • Cooperative specialized institutions
  • Cooperative central institution
  • Companies in the Cooperative Financial Network
  • Cooperative auditors' associations

Our remit at a glance

  • We represent the interests of the Cooperative Financial Network at both national and international levels.
  • We coordinate and develop the joint strategy within the Network.
  • We advise and support our members on legal, taxation, and business management issues.
  • We inform our members about the latest developments in the economy, politics, and banking.
  • The Cooperative Financial Network's protection scheme, Germany's oldest deposit guarantee fund for banks, is run by the BVR.

Our lobbying in Europe

To ensure the interests of the cooperative banks the BVR operates a political liaison office, which coordinates activities in Berlin and Brussels. The BVR takes up the concerns of its member banks, formulates what they expect from the German government and EU institutions, represents their views in committees, and forms alliances with partners both within Germany and throughout Europe.

Collaboration at EU level

As an active member of the European Association of Co-operative Banks (EACB), the BVR also promotes close collaboration between the local cooperative banks at European level and the communication of shared interests to EU institutions. Through the European Banking Industry Committee (EBIC), the BVR communicates the interests of the European banking industry to EU institutions and monitors regulatory initiatives of the European Commission and the definition of standards for the financial services sector.

By-lawsPDF (129 KB)

Our organization

Our organization

How does the BVR operate?

Board of Managing Directors, Association Council, Administrative Board, and general meeting of members – these four governing bodies carry out the BVR's duties as an association.

General meeting of members

The place for democratic decision-making in the Cooperative Financial Network is the general meeting of members, at which every institution has a vote, irrespective of its size. It convenes at least once a year.

Association Council

The Association Council comprises up to 50 members, 12 of whom make up the Administrative Board. The Association Council decides on the Network's strategic direction. It approves the strategic projects devised by special committees.

Administrative Board

The Administrative Board advises the Board of Managing Directors on matters of banking business and banking policy. It also has the job of supervising the Board of Managing Directors and monitors how the Board of Managing Directors runs the protection scheme.

Board of Managing Directors

The three-strong Board of Managing Directors, which is appointed by the Administrative Board, manages the BVR's business operations and represents the BVR externally.

Areas of activity

The BVR's organizational structure reflects the main functional areas of its member banks: market, production, and strategic planning/management. Other areas of focus are the protection scheme, economics, legal affairs and tax law, business policy, and media/communications. The BVR is represented on the supervisory bodies of the large companies in the Cooperative Financial Network, thereby ensuring that they have the same strategic direction.

Our Board of Managing Directors

Our Board of Managing Directors

show more Informationen about Marija Kolakshow more Informationen about Gerhard Hofmannshow more Informationen about Dr. Andreas Martin

Marija Kolak,

Member of the Board of Managing Directors and President

Gerhard Hofmann
Member of the Board of Managing Directors

Dr. Andreas Martin

Member of the Board of Managing Directors

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Marija Kolak, President

Born July 21, 1970 in Dakovo, Croatia

2018 President of the BVR, Berlin

Member of the Board of Managing Directors of Berliner Volksbank

2016 Advanced Management Program at Harvard Business School Executive Education, Boston
2015 Berliner Volksbank, Executive Vice President
2012 - 2015 BVR, Head of Marketing Division and Manager of the Special Committees for Market and Products
2012 BVR, Head of Market Department and Manager of Market Special Committee
2002 - 2012

Berliner Volksbank, various management roles: Marketing Director; Deputy Head of Division, Sales Management; Head of Department, Product and Target Group Management, Corporate Customers; Head of Home Finance Center; Head of Real Estate Center

1998 Berliner Volksbank


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Gerhard Hofmann, Member of the Board of Managing Directors

Born February 6, 1957 Bamberg, Germany

2016 - 2020 President of the European Association of Co-operative Banks (EACB), Brussels
2010/2011 and 2013 Chairman of the European Banking Industry Committee (EBIC), Brussels 
2009 - 2014 Member of the Board European Financial Reporting Advisory Group (EFRAG), Brüssel
since 2008 Member of the Board of Managing Directors of the BVR, Berlin; responsible for legal affairs, tax law, protection scheme, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of BAG Hamm
Member of the Board of the KfW (Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau), Frankfurt
Deutsche Bundesbank, Frankfurt
Various roles, including economics department, accounting, banking regulation
From 1999, head of the banks and financial regulation division at Deutsche Bundesbank and a director of the Bundesbank
Member of the Basel Committee, the Committee of European Banking Supervisors (CEBS), and other distinguished international financial supervision committees
Peat, Marwick, Mitchell & Co. (now KPMG), Frankfurt
Auditing and consultancy for banks and leasing companies
Bayerische Hypotheken- und Wechselbank AG, Bayreuth


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Dr. Andreas Martin, Member of the Board of Managing Directors

Born November 29, 1959 in Hannover, Germany

Since 2009 Member of the Board of Managing Directors of the BVR, Berlin; responsible for economics, business administration, bank organization/information technology, payments processing, HR management, customer services/accounting
1999 Member of the Board of Managing Directors of DG VERLAG and member of the Board of Managing Directors of Raiffeisendruckerei, Wiesbaden/Neuwied
1992 Head of the BVR's payments processing and automation department; significant involvement in a study entitled Pooling Strengths: One Network – One Strategy
1989 Assistant in the office of the President and Board of Managing Directors of the BVR, Bonn
1984 Research associate for the chair of economics 1 (department for economic policy, focusing on economic regulatory policy) at the University of Göttingen
1984 Lecturer in business fundamentals at the Teutloff School in Braunschweig
1982 Research assistant in the Institute for Social Policy at the University of Göttingen


BVR - May 6, 2014 12:00:00 PM