Advanzia bank S.A was established in Luxembourg in 2005 subject to CSSF supervision, specializing in euro savings accounts and no-fee credit cards. The bank was established as a result of the former Founding Management of Bankia Bank seeking to establish an EU-based bank. This was accomplished with the previously largest shareholder of Bankia Bank, Kistefos, becoming the largest shareholder of Advanzia Bank. Fyksen, Grenth, and Holtedahl has together with Dr. Thomas Schlieper set up the bank, which has quickly become a significant issuer of international credit cards in mainland Europe without a presence in the highly competitive UK card market. Europe's premier card issuer is Barclaycard of the UK.
Under the umbrella of European cross border banking regulations, Advanzia caters primarily to Luxembourgish and German clients. Within its first year of operations, the bank had become the largest Luxembourgish issuer of credit cards. Within 2 years of operations (2008), Advanzia had become the largest credit card provider in Germany in terms of transactions turnover value with its product Gebührenfrei MasterCard Gold, despite a general decline in the credit card market.
The bank made its first profits in 2009, with the 2008 financial crisis being a significant contributor to lowering funding costs. The current CEO is Marc Hentgen, formerly CEO of Fortis Consumer Finance Deutschland, having led its ambitions for growth in Germany through Credit4me.
The bank had 375,000 card holders and an after-tax profit of EUR 9 million in 2011.This placed the bank among top 10% of Luxembourg banks in terms of profitability (return on own funds).
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