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Global Finance honours Bank Austria as the best bank in Austria

The American financial magazine Global Finance has named Bank Austria the "Best Bank in Austria" as a result of the magazine's annual survey, "The World's Best Banks in Developed Markets". According to Bank Austria's CEO, Erich Hampel: "The ongoing financial market crisis and the global economic slowdown made 2008 a difficult fiscal year. Nevertheless, we were able to achieve the best results of all domestic banks thanks to the dedication of our employees. I see this award as confirmation of our traditional focus on retail banking and our business model of being a broadly diversified universal bank." The prize will be awarded in Istanbul on 4 October 2009.

The fundamental criteria in the selection process are customer orientation, business success and strong prospects for continued positive performance in the future. In addition to quantitative data such as balance sheet growth and profitability, Global Finance conducts qualitative interviews with stock analysts, ratings experts and consultants from the banking industry. Global Finance was founded 22 years ago and has around 180,000 readers in 158 countries worldwide. The award in 2009 was the second time in a row that Global Finance selected Bank Austria as the "Best Bank in Austria". In addition, the bank was named "Austrian Bank of the Year" in 2008 and "Bank of the Year in CEE" in 2007 by the magazine The Banker.

With a balance sheet total of EUR 222.2 billion and earnings before tax totalling EUR 1.5 billion as of the end of 2008, Bank Austria, a member of UniCredit Group, is not only the largest bank in Austria, but also the most profitable. Bank Austria is responsible for all of UniCredit Group's business in Central and Eastern Europe with the exception of Poland. Over 67,000 employees serve around 26 million customers in 3,000 branches in Austria and CEE.

UniCredit Group is one of the largest European banking groups. It is active in 22 countries in Europe and employs around 180,000 people who serve over 40 million customers in 10,000 branches. UniCredit operates the largest international banking network in Central and Eastern Europe, with over 83,000 employees serving around 28 million customers in more than 4,000 branches.

Enquiries: Bank Austria Press Office Austria
Tiemon Kiesenhofer, Tel. +43 (0) 50505 ext. 52819;
E-mail: tiemon.kiesenhofer@unicreditgroup.at

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