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27.05.2014

Bank Austria opens first new-style branch for retail customers

  • New design and intensified advisory services for customers together with other innovations are the key features of Bank Austria's branch in Wiedner Hauptstrasse 53
  • The Wieden Branch will be open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on every business day; all Bank Austria branches in Vienna will be open during lunchtime from 1 June 2014
  • The new-style branches are breaking new ground in providing advisory services to customers with expert teams, Welcome Managers and the use of tablets
  • Experienced specialists can be called in to provide their expertise via videoconferencing facilities
  • Ten additional branches featuring the new design and state-of-the-art technology will follow in the remaining part of 2014, and the rollout to other locations will continue in 2015
  • The new-style branches, in combination with SmartBanking and personal advisory services via video telephony, are part of the bank's new service approach: customers can choose how, where and when they wish to contact Bank Austria

The opening of Bank Austria's first new-style branch at Wiedner Hauptstrasse 53 marks the start of a number of new openings planned for 2014. Ten branches featuring the new design will follow in the remaining part of this year, including locations at the new Central Railway Station and the Messecarree in Vienna and the first flagship branch in Salzburg’s Mirabellplatz, scheduled to be opened at the end of this year. The rollout to further locations throughout Austria will continue in 2015.

Helmut Bernkopf, Management Board member responsible for Bank Austria’s commercial banking business with retail and corporate customers: "Our new-style branches combine innovative design and state-of-the-art technology. Moreover, they are part of a comprehensive transformation process by which we are responding to changes in customer needs. With our SmartBanking service approach, we are delivering high-quality personal advice online via video telephony to people in their homes and to their smartphones. On the other hand, we are intensifying advisory services for customers at our new branches, where specialist teams can focus on providing customers with advisory services, additionally supported by experts who can be called in via video conferencing facilities and by the use of tablets. Opening hours of the new branch are from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. All our branches in Vienna will also be open for business during lunchtime from 1 June."

Intensified advisory services for customers
Welcome Managers at the branches will be the first point of contact for customers and will guide them to specialists who can meet customers' specific needs. Self-service zones are equipped with the latest generation of machines making it easy and convenient to settle day-to-day banking transactions such as deposits, cash withdrawals and funds transfers.

Information is available via interactive screens and information tablets; in the future, customers will be able to use multi-function terminals to buy tickets, for example, or make video calls to relationship managers. Advisory services will be provided by teams specialising in investments and finance, and experts on leasing, mutual funds or insurance can be called in to provide customers with advice on matters requiring special expertise. Waiting zones take the shape of comfortable lounges and the modern ambience is intended to give customers a new experience of the bank’s advisory services.

An app developed for customer advisory services is currently being tested and will be launched by the end of this year. This will make it possible to deal with the most frequent requests by customers in a simple and well-arranged form, helping to address customers' specific needs at various stages of their lives. Flagship branches with over 50 employees each in Vienna and in the other Austrian regions will offer an additional dimension of service to all customer groups, from retail and corporate customers to Private Banking clients. The first two flagship branches will be opened in Mödling and Salzburg this year. March 2014 saw the opening of Bank Austria's first innovative self-service branch in Vienna's Stephansplatz, which receives very favourable feedback from customers. SmartBanking enables customers to choose how and via which channel they wish to contact Bank Austria.

Total investments exceeding EUR 100 million
Bank Austria is investing over EUR 100 million in the new branch design, technology and equipment at existing branches, and the expansion of SmartBanking. "Banking is undergoing a transformation," says Helmut Bernkopf, "and we are actively shaping this process in a forward-looking manner to position ourselves for the future. There is a growing number of people who settle their banking transactions online and on a mobile basis, and we are effectively responding to this development through SmartBanking. Activities at branches will focus on specialised and intensified advisory services. At our new-style branches we are giving room to advisory services as required and we are creating an entirely new atmosphere. Based on this strategy, we aim to widen the customer base by offering a new growth perspective with the best offering available to customers in the market."

Enquiries: Bank Austria Media Relations Austria
Matthias Raftl, tel. +43 (0) 50505 - 52809
e-mail: matthias.raftl@unicreditgroup.at

Reproducible photographs of the new branch are available for download on our website at www.bankaustria.at > Presse > Pressefotos. Reproduction of the photographs is free of charge.