The material on this site is for financial institutions, professional investors and their professional advisers. It is for information only. Please read our Terms & Conditions, Privacy Policy and Cookies before using this site. Please see our Subscription Terms and Conditions.

All material subject to strictly enforced copyright laws. © 2022 Euromoney, a part of the Euromoney Institutional Investor PLC.

Profit-hungry Austrian banks consolidate and look east

For years, overbanked Austria has been a byword for murderous competition and razor-thin margins. Now there are indications that it is becoming a more benign environment for bankers. Austrian banks are belatedly focusing on the business of making money, both at home and through energetic expansion in the central and eastern European region.

Stepic: claims that RZB's strong performance last
year was partly due to winning customers unhappy
with HVB's takeover of Bank Austria

Austria's domestic banking sector may not be Europe's biggest money maker, but it is becoming much more profitable thanks in large part to consolidation. This reached a peak in 2000 with the acquisition of Bank Austria (BA) by Germany's HypoVereinsbank (HVB). Bank Austria had itself pushed the domestic consolidation process along three years earlier with its acquisition of rival Creditanstalt (CA). As it was stipulated that Creditanstalt would operate as a separate legal entity for five years, the full BA-CA merger won't be finally consummated until this summer.

Already, though, the merger between Bank Austria and Creditanstalt is stripping out costs. According to Standard&Poor's, Bank Austria expects to save e100 million ($89 million) straightaway, with another e100 million to come from further streamlining.

You have reached premium content. Please log in to continue reading.

Read beyond the headlines with Euromoney

For over 50 years, our readers have looked to Euromoney to stay informed about the issues that matter in the international banking and financial markets. Find out more about our different levels of access below.


Unlimited access to and

Expert comment, long reads and in-depth analysis interviews with senior finance professionals

Access the results of our market-leading annual surveys across core financial services

Access the results of our annual awards, including the world-renowned Awards for Excellence

Your print copy of Euromoney magazine delivered monthly

£73.75 per month

Billed Annually


Unlimited access to and, including our top stories, long reads, expert analysis, and the results of our annual surveys and awards

Sign up to any of our newsletters, curated by our editors


Already a user?

We use cookies to provide a personalized site experience.
By continuing to use & browse the site you agree to our Privacy Policy.
I agree