Functions & history
BaFin operates in the public interest. Its primary objective is to ensure the proper functioning, stability and integrity of the German financial system. Bank customers, insurance policyholders and investors ought to be able to trust the financial system.
BaFin has 2,535 employees working in Bonn and Frankfurt am Main. They supervise 1,780 banks, 676 financial services institutions, 573 insurance undertakings and 31 pension funds as well as about 6,000 domestic investment funds and about 260 asset management companies (as of 31 December 2014).
Under its solvency supervision, BaFin helps ensure the ability of banks, financial services institutions and insurance undertakings to meet their payment obligations. Through its market supervision, BaFin also enforces standards of professional conduct which preserve investors' trust in the financial markets. As part of its investor protection, BaFin also seeks to prevent unauthorised financial business.
On 1 May 2002 the Federal Banking Supervisory Office (Bundesaufsichtsamt für das Kreditwesen – BAKred) was merged with the then Federal Securities Supervisory Office (Bundesaufsichtsamt für den Wertpapierhandel – BAWe) and Federal Insurance Supervisory Office (Bundesaufsichtsamt für das Versicherungswesen – BAV) to become the Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (Bundesanstalt für Finanzdienstleistungsaufsicht – BaFin).