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18.02.2009

Bank Austria's interim report on Vienna's SME action week

  • Enquiries centre on the different financing options and development grants

The action week by the City of Vienna, Vienna Chamber of the Economy, the Economic Development Fund, AWS, Bank Austria and other lending institutions on SME financing has met with great interest.

Around 30 businesses have attended in the first two days at Bank Austria's headquarters in Schottengasse, Vienna and taken the opportunity to obtain advice on crucial points. Discussions centred on questions concerning different financing options, development grants and Vienna IFI's credit application coaching. The inquirers come from trade and the hospitality industry in particular. Deputy Mayor Renate Brauner said, “The intention during this action week is to offer Vienna's small- and medium-sized enterprises bundled advice and expertise concerning development grants and loans. I'm very pleased with how it has gone so far and am delighted that Bank Austria is supporting our initiative so actively."

Since December Bank Austria has placed a total volume of 1.5 billion euros of its own "recession loans" at the disposal of SMEs confronted with cash-flow bottlenecks caused by the economic recession. These include enhanced, free advice, in the form of cash-flow advice for enterprises with annual turnover exceeding 2 million euros, for example, or the WorkingCapitalCheck for enterprises with annual turnover exceeding 3 million euros. On average, Austrian banks granted 8.3 percent more corporate loans in 2008 than they did in 2007. This level of corporate lending was last reached in 2000. This year, for the sector as a whole, Bank Austria anticipates a decline of approximately 4 percent, because in view of this year's negative economic growth of minus 1.6 percent, many companies are restricting their export and investment activities.

“Credit is still on tap to the same extent as before. As in the past, a favourable financing decision depends on the customer having a good credit rating and the bank's refinancing costs being covered," said Helmut Bernkopf, Bank Austria Management Board Member for Corporate Banking. "We take the care of our customers seriously and are happy to answer their questions, because if you know your own potential cash-flow and are familiar with the various funding tools, it's easier to achieve your financing objective," added Ralph Müller, Bank Austria Management Board Member for Retail Banking.


Enquiries: Bank Austria Press Office Austria
Tiemon Kiesenhofer, Tel. +43 (0)5 05 05 Ext. 52819;
E-mail: tiemon.kiesenhofer@unicreditgroup.at

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