Key Data

  • Name: BaFin (Bundesanstalt für Finanzdienstleistungsaufsicht)
  • Area of responsibility: Germany
  • Supervision of the business units: Securities Supervision, Banking Supervision, Insurance Supervision, Internal Administration and Law and the Settlement Division.
  • Location: Bonn and Frankfurt am Main, Germany
  • Key People: Mark Branson

BaFin is the abbreviation for Bundesanstalt für Finanzdienstleistungsaufsicht, which is the German Federal Financial Supervisory Authority. BaFin is responsible for regulating and supervising banks, insurance companies, financial services institutions, and other financial market participants in Germany. Its main objectives are to ensure the stability, integrity, and efficiency of the German financial system, as well as to protect consumers and investors from fraud and other abuses. BaFin also cooperates with other national and international regulatory bodies to promote the stability of the global financial system.

Banking license

The costs for obtaining a banking license from BaFin can vary depending on various factors, such as the size and complexity of the institution, the type of banking services to be provided, and the level of supervisory oversight required.

Generally, the costs associated with obtaining a banking license can include expenses such as legal and consulting fees, application fees, and ongoing compliance costs. The application fee for a banking license from BaFin is currently set at €20,000.

However, the total cost of obtaining a banking license from BaFin can be much higher than the application fee alone, and it may also take several months or even years to complete the application process. Banks are also subject to ongoing regulatory and supervisory requirements, which can involve additional costs for compliance, reporting, and audits.

It is worth noting that the cost of obtaining a banking license from BaFin is just one aspect to consider when starting a bank, and it should be weighed against the potential benefits and risks associated with operating in the German financial market.


BaFin has the authority to impose fines and penalties on financial institutions and individuals who violate financial regulations in Germany. The fines can vary depending on the severity of the violation and the financial impact on consumers or the financial system.

For example, in 2021, BaFin imposed fines on Commerzbank and Deutsche Bank for failing to adequately prevent money laundering activities, with Commerzbank being fined 90 million euros and Deutsche Bank being fined 15 million euros. In another case, BaFin imposed a fine of 50 million euros on the payment service provider, Wirecard, for misrepresenting its financial performance and misleading investors.

BaFin can also impose fines and sanctions on individuals who violate financial regulations, including banning them from working in the financial sector. For instance, BaFin imposed a fine of 5.5 million euros on the former CEO of Wirecard, Markus Braun, for market manipulation and prohibited him from working in the financial sector.


We rate BaFin on Green.

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