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20.09.2007

New brand strategy: UniCredit Group opts for Bank Austria brand name

  • UniCredit Group pursues new brand strategy: "UniCredit Group" master brand
  • "Bank Austria" will be the new brand name of Austria's largest bank from 2008
  • New brand strategy already implemented in CEE countries

UniCredit Group is introducing a master brand strategy. Under this strategy, the master brand – "UniCredit Group" – with its logo and design will be reflected in the brands used in the countries and business segments in which the Group is active. The objective is to communicate both internally and externally that all of the Group's units belong to a strong European banking group.

The following changes will take place in Austria: in the future, Austria's largest bank will operate under the "Bank Austria" brand name using the design of the master brand. The switch to the new brand will take place in the first quarter of 2008. The brands of the two private-banking subsidiaries – Schoellerbank and BANKPRIVAT – will also be adapted accordingly. Their well-positioned brand names will remain unchanged and a new design will be used.

"Our new brand shows UniCredit Group's strong commitment to the Austrian market and reflects Bank Austria's membership of UniCredit Group. Bank Austria has been a member of one of the leading European banking groups for two years, which gives us a competitive advantage. This is clearly reflected in our performance. We aim to further develop this advantage by giving clearly visible expression to our membership of UniCredit Group also in our brand," says Erich Hampel, CEO of BA-CA. "I expect the new brand strategy to significantly enhance efficiency in our communication activities. In the future, all banks of the Group will benefit from international campaigns conducted under the master brand."


In addition to the new visual identity, the bank's name will also change: "Bank Austria Creditanstalt" will become "Bank Austria". This step is based on a thorough analysis. Five years after the merger of Bank Austria and Creditanstalt to form "Bank Austria Creditanstalt", only a very small number of Austrians covered by a survey associate the bank with the name "Creditanstalt". These are the exact figures: among a customer share of 18 per cent in retail banking, only one per cent of Austrians refer to "Creditanstalt" as their bank.

BA-CA's CEO Erich Hampel: "We are convinced that now is the time to simplify our brand name. This will make communication much easier for us. Moreover, Bank Austria is an excellent brand name for an Austrian bank." Market research shows that the new "Bank Austria" brand with the new design will meet with a high level of acceptance among customers and lead to a distinctive positioning which combines local strength and international expertise.

Membership of UniCredit Group will also be reflected in new e-mail addresses. In the future, the Group's employees in all countries and practically all business segments will use the "unicreditgroup.eu" domain or – for technical reasons during a transitional period – "unicreditgroup.country".

"Over the past years, UniCredit Group has grown into a leading European bank with over 35 million customers and about 135,000 employees. We are now building a strong European brand," says Alessandro Profumo, CEO of UniCredit Group, adding that "through our new brand strategy, we will make the strengths of our network and the resulting advantages for our customers even more clearly visible. The fact that our strong national brands belong to a leading international banking group will be easy to recognise and this will further enhance our competitiveness."


Enquiries:   Bank Austria Creditanstalt Press Relations
Martin Halama, tel. +43 (0)50505 52371,
e-mail: martin.halama@ba-ca.com