New brand architecture of UniCredit Group in CEE

With the integration of HVB Group, including Bank Austria Creditanstalt and its subsidiaries in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE), UniCredit Group has reached new dimensions: it operates by far the leading banking network in the region with about 3,000 branches in 17 CEE countries. The Group is now adapting its brand architecture to this new dimension. The CEE brands will be closely linked to the umbrella brand "UniCredit Group" to emphasize the strength and the opportunities the network offers to its customers. Therefore most of the CEE banks will operate under the new brand name "UniCredit Bank".

The current process of integrating the subsidiaries in Central and Eastern Europe offers a good opportunity to standardise the "brandscape" in the region. This ensures a consistent Group image and clear recognition of the brands of the various banks. "With this decision we use the strength of the umbrella brand of UniCredit Group, which is among the leading banks in Europe," says Erich Hampel, responsible for the CEE Division in the UniCredit Group Management Committee and CEO of Bank Austria Creditanstalt.

The new name "UniCredit Bank" establishes a direct link with UniCredit Group, one of the top banks in Europe with 35 million customers. The brand decision enables the subsidiaries in Central and Eastern Europe to use the Group's strengths for their activities. In the Czech Republic, in Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Serbia, Slovakia and Ukraine, the banks will be renamed "UniCredit Bank".

In countries with strong local brands, UniCredit Group uses the existent brand equity and applies a combination of local brand and umbrella brand. The subsidiary in Bulgaria will operate under the name of "UniCredit Bulbank" and the name of the bank in Romania will be "UniCredit Tiriac Bank". In Croatia the brand name of Zagrebačka banka, the clear market leader in Croatia, will be retained. In Turkey the "Yapi Kredi" brand has recently been redesigned. In Poland, Russia, Slovenia and Bosnia-Herzegovina the branding decisions are yet to be made. The rebranding is planned to take place in the course of 2007.

UniCredit Group is one of the largest European banks and is represented in 20 core markets with 7,000 branches serving 35 million customers. Within the Group, BA-CA is responsible for banking activities in Central and Eastern Europe1. With its 3,000 branches in 17 countries, the Group operates the largest banking network in the region and offers its customers all financial services as a "one-stop-shop" – from account maintenance to leasing and from asset management to investment banking services.

1 Except Poland's Markets Division, which is managed directly by UniCredit Group

Ildiko Füredi-Kolarik
Bank Austria Creditanstalt, International Press Relations
Tel: +43-50505-56102, e-mail: ildiko.fueredi-kolarik@ba-ca.com