Andreas Treichl, Erste Bank: Champion of the retail banking revolution
Viennese born and bred but US investment bank trained, Andreas Treichl has been at the helm of Erste Bank for the past decade as chairman of its managing board and chief executive. During that time his combination of old-world Viennese charm and savoir-faire, allied with hard-nosed new world commercial nous, has helped the bank transform itself from a venerable but dull Austrian savings institution into the retail banking champion of central and eastern Europe. A series of audacious acquisitions means that Erste Bank is now well positioned to capture the continued high-growth potential in the region, benefiting from increased political stability and rising economic fortunes. He talks to Guy Norton about his vision for the future.
"If people believe the best opportunities in the Russian banking market are already over, they are kidding themselves; they haven’t even begun yet"
In the light of the problems in the sub-prime mortgage market in the US and the associated credit crunch, is old-fashioned retail banking the new business model to follow?
Yes, Austria has definitely been a lot more successful in central and eastern Europe than Germany, despite Germany being so much bigger than Austria.