SHARE
COPY LINK

POLICE

German pensioner loses €20k in cash after leaving it on car roof

It's not unusual for Germans to carry a lot of cash. But for one man in North Rhine-Westphalia, taking out banknotes turned into a nightmare.

German pensioner loses €20k in cash after leaving it on car roof
Germany is known for being a nation of cash lovers. Photo: DPA

The 69-year-old man in Witten, near Bohum in western Germany, withdrew €20,000 of cash from a bank last Friday in order to buy a new car, police said in a statement.

He then placed the envelope with the cash on the roof of his current car. However, he forgot about the envelope and drove off.

A short time later, police said the man noticed that the envelope had disappeared.

Police are urgently appealing for anyone who finds the money to hand it into a lost property office or to the police so that the large sum can be reunited with the pensioner.

The man withdrew the cash at around 3.40pm on Friday, November 22nd from a bank at Ruhrstraße 45 in Witten. He drove off in the direction of Husemannstraße.

READ ALSO:

Police appealed on Twitter for anyone with information to get in touch.

A nation of cash lovers

Although things are changing slowly as card payments become more popular, Germany is known for its Bargeld (cash) culture, and it's not unusual to pay for expensive items with cash.

READ ALSO: Will the German love affair with cash ever end?

In fact, hardly any other nation likes paying with banknotes as much as the Germans do.

According to Barkow Consulting, only about every 20th payment in Germany is processed by credit card. Statistically speaking, founder Peter Barkow said each German citizen keeps €2,200 cash at home.

Germans carried an average of €103 in their wallets in 2016, a study by the European Central Bank revealed, compared with an average of only €65 in the Eurozone.

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.

MONEY

Where in Germany do people have the highest disposable income?

An economic study has shown huge regional differences in income throughout Germany. So which parts of the country have the most to spend each month, and which are feeling the squeeze?

Where in Germany do people have the highest disposable income?

A study by the Economic and Social Sciences Institute (WSI) of the Hans-Böckler foundation reveals stark regional differences in disposable income in Germany. In some cases, households had as much as double the spending money of those in other parts of the country. 

Here’s where people have the most – and least – disposable income each month.

What is disposable income?

The WSI calculated disposable income as the sum of income from wealth and employment, minus social contributions, income taxes, property taxes and other direct benefits or taxes.

What’s left is the income which private households can either spend on consumer goods or save.

The study, which was based on the most recent available national accounts data for 2019, looked at the disposable income of all of the 401 counties, districts and cities across Germany.

Which regions have the highest and lowest disposable incomes?

The study found that the regions with the highest disposable incomes were in the southern states.

Heilbronn in Baden-Württemberg had the highest disposable income of all 401 German counties and independent cities – with an average per capita disposable income of €42,275. The district of Starnberg in Bayern followed in second place with €38,509.

READ ALSO: REVEALED: How much do employees really earn across Germany’s states?

By comparison, per capita incomes in the cities of Gelsenkirchen and Duisburg in North Rhine-Westphalia were less than half as high, at €17,015 and €17,741 respectively. These regions had the lowest disposable income in the country. 

The study also found that, more than thirty years since German reunification, the eastern regions continue to lag behind those in the west in terms of wages.

According to the WSI, the Potsdam-Mittelmark district is the only district in the former east where the disposable per capita income of €24,127 exceeds the national average of €23,706.

Do regional price differences balance things out?

The study also showed that regionally different price levels contribute to a certain levelling out of disposable incomes, as regions with high incomes also tend to have higher rents and other living costs.

“People then have more money in their wallets, but they cannot afford more to the same extent,” WSI scientist Toralf Pusch explained.

READ ALSO: EXPLAINED: When will Germany raise the minimum wage?

Therefore, incomes in the eastern states, adjusted for purchasing power, are generally somewhat higher than the per capita amounts would suggest.

That could explain why, even after price adjustment, the cities of Gelsenkirchen and Duisburg in western Germany continue to be at the very bottom of the list.

Saxon-Anhalt’s Halle an der Saale, on the other hand, which has an average disposable income of only €18,527, benefits from the lower prices in the east.

SHOW COMMENTS