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The Landesbanken in Germany are a group of state-owned banks of a type unique to Germany. They are regionally organised and their business is predominantly wholesale banking. They are also the head banking institution of the local and regional bases Sparkassen (= saving banks). Landesbanken and Sparkassen comprise one of the three pillars of Germany's banking system. The two other pillars are private commercial banks and cooperatives. Each has a different legal purpose, ownership structure, and governance model. Landesbanken and Sparkassen, as publicly-owned entities, are charged by national and state banking laws to pursue an "Offentlicher Auftrag" or public purpose.