KfW is a government-owned banking institution that offers both foreign and domestic financing for business and economic development. Its mission includes supporting citizen-initiatives, small- and medium-sized enterprises, and municipalities through loans. It finances German and European companies to they can compete in global markets. It also supports economic and social progress in developing countries and carries out projects on behalf of the German government.
In 2013 KfW Group committed a total financing volume of 72.5 billion euros to various investments. Besides small and medium-sized businesses, environment and climate protection were other key areas of focus. Here KfW committed 27.8 billion euros, around 38 percent of the overall promotional business volume.
In Germany, KfW is involved in energy efficiency refurbishment programmes for homes.
The Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy has been criticised for allowing the KfW to invest in coal power stations and other fossil fuel operations abroad.