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Image study: Companies want internationality and consulting expertise from a bank
BA-CA: 20 per cent more customers in the SME segment by 2010

  • Representative survey: Austrian companies asked about what they expect in a bank
  • Medium-sized and large enterprises want consulting expertise and support in CEE
  • BA-CA respected for its know-how and extensive network of subsidiary banks

“The Austrian business community strongly associates us with internationality and size and sees us as a financial institution that can support companies expanding into Central, Eastern and South Eastern Europe with competent consulting services and highly specialised products.  This makes us extremely happy because it underscores the success of our efforts to build up our network in the CEE region over the last several years as well as our leading position within UniCredit Group,” says Regina Prehofer, the member of the Managing Board responsible for corporate banking at Bank Austria-Creditanstalt (BA-CA), summarising the results of the 2008 image study.

On the behalf of BA-CA, the market research institute Sensor asked businesses about their expectations in a bank in a representative survey. While high profitability (87 per cent), professional competence (82 per cent) and friendly customer service (80 per cent) are seen as basic requirements by all of the companies surveyed, large enterprises consider size (82 per cent), support for CEE activities and the provision of alternative forms of financing (both 55 per cent) to be extremely important. In addition, banks can score extra points with large enterprises with rating advice and government-assisted financing for investments and with medium-sized enterprises with advice about CEE activities and global support for international activities as well as with products such as alternative forms of financing and products for hedging against interest rate and currency risks (each of these factors was mentioned by over 25 per cent of respondents). Small enterprises primarily expect sound advice and strong regional ties from a bank.

 “If you look at the results for customers and non-customers separately, you can see that 82 per cent of BA-CA customers gave the bank a positive rating. The reasons given for this rating were competence, size, friendly customer service and internationality. Non-customers also attribute size and internationality to BA-CA, however one-fifth see the bank as having a slow decision making process,” says Martin Mayr of BA-CA’s Market Research division.

Altogether there are some 23,300 corporate clients in Austria: This number reflects conventional businesses with turnover starting at EUR 3 million and does not include multinational corporations, provincial governments, municipalities, commercial real estate clients or financial institutions. BA-CA services roughly 15,500 of these corporate clients ranging from small enterprises (annual turnover of EUR 3–15 million) to medium-sized enterprises (annual turnover of EUR 15–250 million) all the way to large enterprises (annual turnover starting at EUR 250 million). BA-CA is setting the bar high for the next few years, particularly in the SME segment. The bank aims to expand its client base by 3,000 companies by 2010, thus increasing it by 20 per cent within three years. BA-CA already acquired over 700 new corporate clients in 2007.

“We want to make our know-how, products and international networking possibilities available to the local business community even more quickly and want to help increase the overall level of internationality of Austria’s businesses,” concludes Prehofer.

Bank Austria Creditanstalt Press Office Austria
Martin Halama, Tel. +43 (0)5 05 05 ext. 52371
E-mail: martin.halama@ba-ca.com