Johann Strobl: Differentiation together
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Johann Strobl: Differentiation together

As part of Euromoney's 50th anniversary coverage, we profile some of the biggest names that we interviewed for our May CEE focus.

One of the most striking effects of the global financial crisis in central and eastern Europe was the speed with which western commercial banks exited the region’s more exotic markets.

The exception was Raiffeisen Bank International (RBI). A decade later, the Austrian group’s 13-country network – the largest in the region – still includes frontier markets from Albania to Ukraine, as well as the only western bank subsidiary in Belarus.

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Johann Strobl, who took over as chief executive in March 2017, says RBI has no plans to abandon its more remote outposts.

“We have been active in these countries for 20 years or more, so we know how to work in this environment,” he says. “These markets have also developed tremendously. They are much less frontier today than when we started operating there.”

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