Bank Austria

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UniCredit Bank Austria AG
Type Subsidiary of Unicredit
Industry Finance and Insurance
Founded 1855 CA
1880 Länderbank
1905 Zentralsparkasse
1991 Bank Austria (fusion of ZSK and LB)
2002 Bank Austria Creditanstalt
2008 Bank Austria
Headquarters Vienna, Austria
Key people Willibald Cernko, Chairman
Products Commercial banking, Investment banking, Private banking, Asset management
Revenue 199,2 bn (as of 2011)
Parent Unicredit
Website www.bankaustria.at

UniCredit Bank Austria AG, better known as Bank Austria, is a Central and Eastern European bank, 96.35% owned by UniCredit Group. The bank maintains an extensive network in Austria, with about 7.700 employees serving customers in some 300 branches. Bank Austria serves as UniCredit’s hub for the banking network in Central and Eastern Europe, a region where the Group is the clear market leader with about 3,900 branches in 19 countries. As per 2008, 85% of Bank Austria's total workforce is employed out of Austria.

Since 2007, Bank Austria is also responsible for all UniCredit affiliates in the European Union. Thus, Bank Austria inherited operation in 20 countries it had no representation before, of which even UniCredit had no activity. However, Bank Austria could not retrieve its business in Poland, where it had been well represented by BHP.

The 2000s saw the bank in the middle of substantial litigation around trustee Rudolfine Steindling's transfer of former East German, now German, money to her own accounts. In 2010 a Swiss court ruled [1] that the predecessor Österreichische Länderbank had broken the law by aiding her to channel away the money and had to pay €240 million but a higher court overruled this decision on formal grounds.

Total assets of Bank Austria as at 31 December 2011 were EUR 199,2 billion. Bank Austria is the number one banking partner for Austrian companies:

  • 80 per cent of large corporates
  • 37 per cent of medium-sized companies
  • 21 per cent of small businesses

have confidence in Bank Austria's services. [2]

History[edit]

BA-CA's history goes as far back as 1855, the year the Creditanstalt was founded (see article on Creditanstalt).

In 1991, savings bank Zentralsparkasse und Kommerzialbank der gemeinde Wien and financially depressed, state-owned Österreichische Länderbank merged to form Bank Austria, by then the biggest bank in the country. Current corporation was established in 1996 and German WestLB took a 9,1% share.[3] The same year, the government announced the privatization of Creditanstalt, of which it held a 51% stake. In January 1997 Bank Austria finally managed to buy the stake for about 1,25 billion euros. In turn, Bank Austria sold a majority stake in GiroCredit 8,24 billion schillings (about 600 million euros) to Erste Bank. In February 1998, the state sold its last shares and the remaining shares on the market were exchanged with shares in Bank Austria, and Creditanstalt was delisted from the Vienna Stock Exchange.

In 2000, HVB Group took over Bank Austria through a share exchange procedure, and Bank Austria was delisted. An assets exchange procedure led to the transfert of HVB's assets in central and eastern Europe to Bank Austria, and reversely. In March 2003, Bank Austria's merger with CreditAnstalt being fully effective, and IPO was offered for the new BA-CA.

In June 2005 Italian group UniCredit disclosed the acquisition of Hypovereinsbank, along with BA-CA. Restructuring led to the creation of a new holding for BA-CA foreign assets in eastern Europe, the transformation of the Polish activity to a full affiliate, the shrinking of BA-CA per se to a smaller market, and the shrinking of HVB to the German market. In order to respect cartel restriction, BA-CA's affiliate Splitska banka had to be sold to Société Générale, for UniCredit already owned Zagrebačka banka, what management was transferred to BA-CA.

In 2006 BA-CA continued its expansion in Russia by acquiring remaining shares in International Moscow Bank and 100% of institutional business of Aton Capital - a Russian brokerage. [4] Moreover, Kazakh bank ATFBank was acquired in 2007.[5]

Since 31 March 2008 the bank has been operating under the brand name "Bank Austria" and they have got a new logo to show the connection to the UniCredit Group. It has the strongest capital base among the large banks in Austria, its Core Tier 1 ratio amounted to 10.55% and its Total Capital ratio to 12.7% as of 31 December 2011.

Management[edit]

As of 2012 Bank Austria is managed by CEO Willibald Cernko.

Chairman is Erich Hampel.

Activity in central and eastern-Europe[edit]

Bank Austria has a long tradition of operations in central and eastern Europe. After outbreak of world war I, foreign affiliates of the Creditanstalt and the Länderbank had to be abandoned. In 1975 Creditanstalt became the first western-bank to opened an office in Budapest. In 1997 activities of Creditanstalt and Bank Austria in the region were brought under the umbrella of a new holding company, Bank Austria Creditanstalt International. It was expanded to all foreign activities, with the exception of the Russian banks, a year later.

A great deal of Bank Austria's turnover is made in central and eastern Europe. The UniCredit network in the region includes 3.800 offices in 19 countries and about 71.000 employees.

Key figures[edit]

As of September 30, 2011

  • Total Assets: €197.67 billion
  • Earnings: €1.035 billion
  • Return on Equity: 0.0%
  • Workforce: 7,761 (Austria) 59,374 (Global)
  • Offices: 293 (Austria) 3,017 (Global)

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

Notes[edit]