The municipal credit platform komuno, a joint venture of Helaba Digital and Lucht Probst Associates (LPA), will open up access to all banks outside the Sparkassen-Finanzgruppe from the beginning of the year.
komuno allows municipal short-term and investment loans to be processed quickly, simply and efficiently. Since the platform was launched in September 2018, numerous cities, municipalities and administrative districts have joined the platform, along with savings banks and Landesbanken. The growing demand has seen borrowers post regular invitations to tender on komuno, resulting in the first successful, legally binding transactions via the platform. To reinforce this positive momentum, the platform was opened up to all credit institutions on 1 January 2019.
Now that komuno’s functionality has been successfully tested within the Sparkassen-Finanzgruppe, it makes sense to open the platform up to more users. This means that all approved banking institutions – commercial banks, cooperative banks, development banks and others – can now register to use the platform.
"We are convinced that expanding komuno to institutions outside the Sparkassen-Finanzgruppe will increase the added value of the platform for all its users and thus strengthen its position. Participating municipalities can now use the platform to approach all institutions and partners relevant to them. komuno serves as their primary channel for requesting tenders," says Dr. Gerhard Kebbel, Head of Helaba's Digitalisation Strategy Project.
Stefan Lucht, founder of LPA GmbH, adds: "Intensive discussions with users and partners have confirmed that komuno's functionality meets their needs. In order to create further added value for participants, it is now time to expand into the wider market. The use of redundant communication channels will hopefully soon be obsolete. Our approach of steadily digitalizing the entire lending process will continue to take top priority."
New features and content in recent months have also reflected this growth: komuno has further improved the tendering process and added additional practical functions based on user feedback. Users retain control over their requests for tender and bids. Participating municipalities and credit institutions each have the option to configure their own lists of preferred partners.
A major milestone in the ongoing development of komuno will be the launch of an interface between komuno and OSPlus, the core banking system used by the Sparkassen-Finanzgruppe. From mid-2019 onwards, this will enable municipal loans to be processed directly in the savings banks' IT system. The ongoing development of the existing interface with "S-Kompass", the leading municipal debt management system, will make komuno even more user-friendly with updates due in the coming months.
As a wholly owned subsidiary of Helaba, Helaba Digital GmbH & Co. KG was founded in May 2018 to strategically invest in innovative companies. The investment focus is on FinTech, RegTech and PropTech to enhance the Group's new and existing business processes. The 51% stake in komuno GmbH is one of several corporate ventures. Helaba Digital supports the company’s growth and strategic orientation through regular discussions with the managing directors of komuno GmbH and the co-shareholder LPA.
LPA is an international service provider to the financial services industry and has a special focus on the capital market business. In addition, LPA offers a broad software suite to optimise processes and ensure regulatory compliance. Founded in 1999, LPA is headquartered in Frankfurt with around 350 employees and offices worldwide.Together with members of the Savings Banks Group, LPA was also responsible for the development of the "S-Kompass" municipal debt management system.
With its 49% stake, LPA is in charge of software development at komuno and acts as a sparring partner for technological issues relating to the platform.