The Landesbanken in Germany are a group of state-owned banks of a type unique to Germany. They are regionally organised and their business is predominantly wholesale banking. They are also the head banking institution of the local and regional bases Sparkassen (= saving banks). Landesbanken and Sparkassen comprise one of the three pillars of Germany's banking system. The two other pillars are private commercial banks and cooperatives. Each has a different legal purpose, ownership structure, and governance model. Landesbanken and Sparkassen, as publicly owned entities, are charged by national and state banking laws to pursue an "öffentlichen Auftrag" or public purpose.
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