Raiffeisen International Bank-Holding AG, a member of the RZB Group, plans to introduce a newly-founded direct bank in selected Central and Eastern European markets in 2010. The direct bank will target the retail segment and initially focus on providing deposit products. Its customers will benefit from attractive offers made possible by the cost advantages linked to the self-service model, which fully utilizes the Internet as its primary sales and service channel.
«Our new direct bank will address the unique needs and interests of Internet-focused customers, who represent a fast-growing group in Central and Eastern Europe. By delivering cutting-edge online products and services to this distinct customer segment, the direct bank will ideally complement our traditional ’brick-and-mortar’ offerings and contribute to the further strengthening of our Group’s liquidity,» said Herbert Stepic, Raiffeisen International’s CEO. «By investing in a new direct bank, we are also underlining our commitment to Central and Eastern Europe and our conviction that the region’s convergence process will continue,» Stepic added.
The Austrian Financial Market Authority granted the relevant banking license for the direct bank, which will be based in Vienna and operate as a subsidiary of Raiffeisen International under an Austrian banking license. The «Single European Passport» principle allows the new direct bank to enter the banking market in another EU member state simply by following a notification process with the competent regulatory authorities.
Raiffeisen International operates one of the largest banking networks in CEE, covering 17 markets across the region through subsidiary banks, leasing companies and a range of other financial service providers. The group’s nearly 59,000 employees service around 15 million customers via more than 3,100 business outlets. Raiffeisen International is a fully-consolidated subsidiary of Raiffeisen Zentralbank Osterreich AG (RZB), which owns about 70 per cent of the common stock. The remainder is in free float, with the shares listed 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.