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Country Awards for Excellence 2022: Western Europe



Best Bank: Erste Bank

Low interest rates, coupled with the highly competitive nature of the local financial sector, have weighed heavily on Austrian banks’ profit margins in the past few years. Austria’s best bank, Erste Bank, has navigated these challenges, even while it introduced new digital features and pushed harder on sustainable finance.

The net profit of the Austrian part of Erste Bank, together with its associated local savings banks, rose 71% to €812 million in 2021. This increase was mainly to do with lower impairments, but there was also a 5.8% rise in net fees and commissions, coupled with flat operating expenses. Net interest income was also slightly higher. While the cost-to-income ratio fell, return on allocated capital was in double digits.