27. März 2020

How the Reconstruction Loan Corporation (Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau – KfW) and Saving Banks (Sparkassen) help companies during the corona crisis


The current corona crisis is putting many companies in financial jeopardy that no one could have imagined only a few weeks ago. With this in mind, the KfW (Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau [reconstruction loan corporations]) and Sparkassen (Savings banks) are now coming up with innovations that facilitate straightforward support for companies during the crisis. How KfW and Sparkassen help companies during the corona crisis. We will explain the changes to you.

KfW use their resources to support the economy. To that end, they offer companies a risk assumption of up to 90 percent in order to relieve the respective main banks and thereby enable companies to take out loans.

KfW have since revised their offers to correspond to the crisis. In order to be eligible for these offers, companies must prove that they were not experiencing any difficulties on or before 31/12/2019.

KfW corporate loan and ERP start-up loan

If you apply for a loan for investments or working capital as a company, KfW assume a large part of the risk from your main bank. The KfW corporate loan is available to companies that have been on the market for over five years. If you have been on the market for less than five years, KfW offers you the ERP start-up loan. We have already presented various loans to you in one of our past blog posts.

Risk assumption according to company size

The level of risk assumption depends on the size of the company.


  • Large companies

Large companies are those with more than 250 employees, more than 50 million euro in sales or more than 43 million euro in total assets. For companies of this size, KfW offer a risk assumption of up to 80%.


  • Small and medium companies 

Small and medium-sized companies are those with up to 250 employees and up to 50 million euro in sales. For these companies, KfW offer a risk assumption of up to 90%.

Maximum loan amount

Each corporate group may apply for up to one billion euro. The maximum loan amount is limited to

  • 25% of annual sales in 2019 or
  • Double the wage costs in 2019 or
  • the current financing needs for the next 18 months for small and medium-sized companies or 12 months for large companies or
  • 50% of your company’s total debt on loans over 25 million euro.

By increasing the risk assumption, KfW improve your chance of getting a loan from your bank. Sparkassen have therefore responded in a timely manner and would like to offer funds to support their corporate customers as quickly as possible.

Fast & unbureaucratic: Sparkassen offer advance payments

It can be expected that KfW will experience considerable strain due to the high number of applications. In order to guarantee a simple implementation, Sparkassen are now offering their corporate customers advance payment on behalf of KfW.

In that way, Sparkassen guarantee an unbureaucratic review of applications. There are only two prerequisites:

  • As of 31/12/2019, your company was not experiencing difficulties and the main bank had no knowledge of unregulated payment arrears.
  • If the overall economic situation returns to normal, your company has a positive continuation forecast.

Our assessment

For many companies, the current steps taken by KfW and the Sparkassen are a sensible and straightforward way to remain liquid. How KfW and Sparkassen help companies during the corona crisis.

If you are interested in the offers, please contact us. In that case, our team of experts led by Lars Rinkewitz will be happy to help you get the necessary documents squared away.

Frequently asked questions

We are using the respective blog posts to continually take frequently asked questions from you:

“Is there a formula to calculate the loan requirement for the loan application?”

We advise all mandated people in our retail, food service or media sectors to assume that they will have no sales for two months and only 50 percent of their usual sales for another three months. This “formula” serves as a point of reference to calculate the loan demand.

For larger companies, the parameters are more versatile and the dependencies such as those on suppliers and supply chains are more complex. In that case, we recommend an analytical view of the entire situation to determine the loan requirement.

Lars Rinkewitz

Prokurist, Steuerberater, Diplom-Kaufmann


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