Raiffeisen International Bank-Holding AG established a new Group data processing and payments centre in Romania. The centre has started operations in spring 2007 and by November already provided services to eleven network units of the Raiffeisen International Group. The Centralised Raiffeisen International Services & Payments (CRISP) is a shared service centre for Raiffeisen International’s units in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE).
Heinz Wiedner, COO of Raiffeisen International, commented, «By establishing another central group function in our business region, and not in our Vienna head office, we again underlined our full commitment to Central and Eastern Europe.»
«Romania has a privileged geographical position, it represents an attractive market, and it is able to assume the role of an important regional centre. We feel very much honoured by Raiffeisen International’s decision to choose Romania, an example that hopefully will be followed by other important corporations from Central and Eastern Europe. This decision confirms the Group’s trust in Romania and its local subsidiary», stated Steven van Groningen, CEO of Raiffeisen Bank Romania.
This processing centre uses Raiffeisen Bank’s infrastructure for both its production and disaster-recovery environments. Since the registration of CRISP in February 2007 and its certification as a majority-owned Service Bureau by SWIFT, eleven network units of the Group located in nine countries have already successfully migrated to the SWIFT Hub. It is expected to be used by all Network Banks of the Group by mid-2008. So far, already more than 50 per cent of Raiffeisen International’s SWIFT traffic is managed via CRISP.
«The SWIFT Hub will serve as a basis for the centralization of additional operations, starting with the central processing and routing of cross-border payments as well as the support of compliance activities within the Group», said CRISP General Manager Pierre H. Brisse.
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Raiffeisen International operates one of the largest banking networks in CEE. 18 markets of Europe’s growth region are covered by subsidiary banks, finance leasing companies, two representative offices and a number of other financial service providers. Over 13 million customers are attended to through more than 3,000 business outlets. Raiffeisen International is a fully consolidated subsidiary of Raiffeisen Zentralbank Osterreich AG (RZB), which owns 68.5 per cent of the common stock. The balance is free float, the shares are traded on the Vienna Stock Exchange. RZB is a leading corporate and investment bank in Austria and the central institution of the Austrian Raiffeisen Banking Group, the country’s largest banking group.