GLS Bank

GLS Gemeinschaftsbank eG, also called GLS Bank, is a German bank concerned about its investments in the environmental and social field. Therefore, it is known as one of the first social and ecological banks in Germany and the world.

It offers a set of banking operations aimed at cultural, environmental, and social projects. It is considered a community bank. GLS Bank is the abbreviation for Gemeinschaftsbank für Leihen und Schenken (Bank-Cooperative for loans and donations).


The history of the bank began in the late 1960s. Wilhelm Ernst Barkhoff, due to the social changes of that moment, wanted to establish an institution to help fund people’s community projects. He made a loan, together with his colleagues, to cooperate in the founding of the Rudolf Steiner School because other banking institutions refused to support.

In 1961, the charitable foundation is known today as GLS Treuhand is created. The bank was officially founded in 1974 under the name of GLS Bank. It was created as the first socio-ecological bank. In the following years, it was responsible for financing several community institutions and projects such as the German Paritätischer Wohlfahrtsverband (1976), Bauckhöfe (1977), the first wind turbine on the Dannwisch farm (1988) and more. As a first step to expand, it opened its first branch in Stuttgart in 1982.

In 2003, to grow more as a banking entity, it acquired the Ökobank, which worked under the same ideal (to finance social and ecological projects). In 2009, it provided funds to one of the most important agricultural projects in Europe in Brandenburg. Two years later, it created the GLS Bank Foundation to help finance economic education activities in schools and universities.

Swift Code

The Swift Code is the set of characters that identify the bank during an international money transfer: GENODEM1GLS.

Number of Employees

Currently, the bank has 514 employees.


The rating assesses the possible financial risks that a bank would have due to debts.

GLS Bank has a rating of:

  • Fitch = AA-.

AA- (Fitch) = It means that the bank has very high security.


Its base is in the city of Bochum, Germany.


Access the official GLS Bank website:


  • Private Client: It offers services for opening checking and savings accounts, making deposits and withdrawals, financing community projects, making loans, and more for individual clients.
  • Business and Business: It allows companies to make commercial payment transactions, investments, leasing, loans, deposits and withdrawals of money, and provisions.

Also, it provides the mobile banking system so that customers can carry out their banking operations from anywhere.


  • Address: Christstraße 9, 44789 Bochum, Germany.
  • Phone Number: +49 234 5797 100.