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09.10.2019

Current survey by UniCredit Bank Austria on investment behaviour in Austria:
Investing successfully in the current low-interest environment

  • Traditional forms of saving are also the most common form of investment in 2019, even though savers are aware that they generate real losses and more people save without being really interested in doing so.
  • Habits, aversion to complexity and potential loss risks are the main barriers to forms of investment with more attractive return opportunities.
  • UniCredit Bank Austria invests in financial education and focuses on personal advice
  • Broad range of products to take advantage of the opportunities offered by securities investments
  • Investor typology shows: “cautious” and “risk avoiders” are clear front-runners in Austria, “moderates” are enthusiastic about their investment successes.
  • World Savings Day remains important for 1.5 million Austrians, due to the development of personal relationships and financial education for children.

The current survey commissioned by UniCredit Bank Austria and conducted by Marketagent.com on the investment behaviour of Austrians has identified four major types of investors and shows a widespread fear of the threshold in forms of investment that promise attractive returns with a certain risk. On the basis of a high need for security, 63 percent of those surveyed in Austria still leave their assets on traditional savings deposits, although only 39 percent consider this form of investment to be interesting because people are aware that it is no longer “good bargain”, a discrepancy of 24 percent.

Although 39 percent of those surveyed think that real estate investments are interesting and sensible, only 21 percent can actually invest their money in “concrete gold”, which is 18 percentage points less than interested. 26 percent are considering securities investments, but only 19 percent are trading them. There are three main reasons for this result: habit, avoidance of complexity and the weighting of risks.

“The current survey impressively confirms key experiences that we also make in our discussions with customers,” says Robert Zadrazil, CEO of UniCredit Bank Austria. “For us, therefore, this survey result is a mandate to respond even more closely to customer needs and, with personal and individual advice and an interesting range of products, to take away our customers' fears of switching to more promising forms of investment. In addition, we invest in the financial education of our youth in order to improve the financial knowledge of the population. As part of our Social Impact Initiative, we offer financial education workshops at schools and with NGOs.”

Asset losses on savings deposits
As an analysis by Stefan Bruckbauer, Chief Economist at UniCredit Bank Austria, shows, Austrian households still invest around half of their financial assets in deposits and only a quarter in securities. An annual real loss on deposits of EUR 2.9 billion was offset in the years 2012 to 2018 by an annual real return on securities of around EUR 2 billion. From today's perspective, this negative balance of deposits will become even worse in the coming years. The current survey also shows that for the overwhelming majority of the saving population the decisive motives are little or no risk and, ideally, a guarantee that the capital invested will not be lost.

Personal advice is crucial
“The present study clearly shows us that Austrian savers have understood that low interest rates will not disappear so quickly and that the savings book loses purchasing power,” says Zadrazil. “It is therefore our task as a bank, with transparent, understandable and personal advice and product offers tailored to the individual risk profile, to take the fear of alternative forms of investment away from savers.”

Broad product range and risk/return analysis
UniCredit Bank Austria offers 100 investment specialists, who can be connected to all advisory meetings throughout Austria, as well as professional advisory tools such as a non-binding and free risk/return analysis, with which you can find the ideal investment for maximum return with the lowest possible risk. In addition, UniCredit Bank Austria's product universe offers a wide range of attractive products for every risk appetite and also for small assets and asset accumulation:

  • Guarantee products with capital guarantee at maturity (guarantor bonds)
  • Saving securities from 40 Euro per month
  • Insurance solutions such as “Ergo fürs Leben” with a combination of classic and unit-linked investment forms
  • With KomfortInvest investment funds, investors can invest regularly, freely adjust the level of their investment at any time, flexibly change the investment duration and, if necessary, also access their assets.
  • VermögensManagement Premium offers active asset management from 50,000 Euro
  • The UNIVERS service model for an investment volume of EUR 70,000 or more offers customers who do not have sufficient time and the necessary market information to react quickly and flexibly to the international financial markets the opportunity to make the final decision about their investments themselves.

Sustainable investments
Sustainable investments are particularly interesting not only because of the current ubiquitous and urgent issue of climate change. 27 percent of those surveyed are familiar with "sustainable investments", and 66 percent of this target group also find these very interesting. The main arguments for a sustainable investment are:

  • 79 percent of investments are made with a clear conscience, and
  • 58 percent set a visible sign in favour of sustainability.
  • Nevertheless, 89 percent of the proponents of sustainable investment believe that the return must be right.

The investor typology
47 percent of the respondents belong to the “cautious” group, for whom securities investments are simply too insecure and who consciously accept the real loss of purchasing power of their assets due to their high level of security awareness. An additional 14 percent of the respondents are by no means willing to take risks in their investments. These so-called “risk avoiders” have generally had negative experiences in the past primarily with investments in individual securities and equities.

Martin Gölles, Head of Customer Satisfaction & Market Research at UniCredit Bank Austria: “Among the 'moderates' there are 29 percent of respondents who have generally had positive experiences with securities investments and other alternative investments as a result of personal financial advice.” Here also the satisfaction with successful investment is reflected in O-tones like “feeling lucky when I make the monthly statement of assets or success” or “success is big with higher net yield and calculable risk”. Another very small group are the so-called “venturesomes”, only 9 percent of those surveyed (their share has doubled compared to the previous year), mostly young and with positive investment experience, who have often invested very successfully through their own decisions.

Financial education for the investors of the future
Within the framework of Social Impact Banking, UniCredit Bank Austria invests in activities in the area of financial education, the aim of which is to promote the financial competence of young people, young adults and company founders. On the one hand, the focus is on financial education workshops, online platforms and competitions for students. On the other hand, young people (outside schools) and people at risk of social exclusion: By integrating financial education workshops into the vocational training programmes of social NGOs such as Caritas or SOS Children's Villages, the local carers and educators also benefit directly.

World Savings Day still popular
“As our survey shows, interest in World Savings Day remains constant in the long-term trend,” says Martin Gölles. Again this year, approximately 1.5 million Austrians plan to visit a bank branch on World Savings Day. “Even, or especially, in times of increasing digitalisation in the financial sector, the personal, confidence-building contact with the bank is important for many Austrians. The (financial) educational character of World Savings Day is also still alive: Saving is visibly 'institutionalised' for the children and grandchildren and - in the form of gifts - also rewarded. This is still a major reason to visit your bank branch on World Savings Day.”

About the survey
Marketagent.com online reSEARCH GmbH has conducted 609 online interviews with persons aged between 14 and 69 years who are customers of a bank on behalf of UniCredit Bank Austria at the beginning of August 2019.

Enquiries
UniCredit Bank Austria Press Office
Matthias Raftl, Tel.: +43 (0)5 05 05-52809;
Email: matthias.raftl@unicreditgroup.at