Western European Awards for Excellence 2013: By country
|Regional Awards for Excellence 2013: Western Europe
|Western Europe winners by country
Best Bank: Bank Unicredit Austria
Many Austrian banks avoided the excesses of the pre-crisis credit and real estate booms, but the country’s banking sector still faces challenges stemming from that period. Principal among these is the resolution of ailing nationalized lender Hypo Alpe-Adria-Bank International, which has received €2.2 billion in state aid since 2008 and is the third-largest lender to the countries of the former Yugoslavia.
The Austrian government has ruled out the establishment of a state-owned bad bank to deal with the problem and is looking to the privately owned banks themselves to stand behind any wind-down vehicle. The country’s two largest lenders – Erste Group and UniCredit Bank Austria – have already ruled out participation in such a deal; others are unlikely to be enthusiastic.
The problems at the ailing lender, which if it is forced into insolvency might face losses of €5 billion to €6 billion, have worsened against a backdrop of improvement in wider sector fundamentals.