One of the largest financial services providers in Central and Eastern Europe, Erste Bank’s customer base has grown from 600,000 to over 16 million in seven years, with a network of 3,000 branches.
With a dedicated focus to the region, Erste Bank Group is solidly positioned to capture the growth potential of some of the fastest developing countries in Europe. Over the last ten years, Erste has bough 10 banks across Central and Eastern Europe, where it as so far acquired 10 banks. With customers in Central and Eastern Europe becoming increasingly affluent, further growth is guaranteed as they banking penetration deepens.
Erste bank offers straightforward banking products, such as savings, payment transfers and debit cards – as well as more sophisticated banking products such as mortgages, credit cards, consumer loans and wealth management products.
Erste Bank is listed on the Vienna Stock Exchange, Prague Stock Exchange and Bucharest Stock Exchange.
History and Recent Expansion
In the economically difficult years after the Napoleonic Wars, Emperor Franz I initiated the foundation of a savings bank modelled on the German and English examples. Johann Baptist Weber, Minister of the Leopoldstadt, followed his lead and set up the ‘Union of the Ersten ?sterreichischen Spar-Casse’ in 1819.
On October 4th 1819, the first Erste Bank opened its doors to the public, its motto remaining untouched to this day: to promote and secure financial foresight.
1997: IPO on the Viennese Stock exchange.
1998: Acquisition of Mez?bank in Hungary.
1999: Acquisition of ?akovecka banka, Bjelovarska banka and Trgova?ka banka in Croatia, merged later into Erste&Steierm?rkischen banka.
2000: Acquisition of a majority (52%) stake of ?eská spo?itelna, increased to 98% during 2002 and 2003. ?eská spo?itelna is the leading retail bank in Czech Republic.
2001: Erste Bank acquires an 87% stake in Slovenská sporiteIna, the largest bank in the Slovak Republic. Erste Bank increases its stake to 100% in 2005.
2002: Erste Bank acquires an 85% stake in Rijecka banka and merges it with its existing operations in Erste Bank Kroatien. With a market share by deposits of approximately 10%, the bank holds the number three position in the Croatian market. Erste Bank holds 64.94% of Erste Bank Croatia.
2003: Erste Bank wins tender to buy 99.94% of Hungary’s Postabank, merged with Erste Bank Hungary. The new bank is the second largest retail bank in Hungary.
Aug 2005: Erste Bank acquires 83.3% of Novosadska banka in Serbia. It targets to reach a market share of 3%-4% in key segments in Serbia. Erste Bank holds currently 99.99% of Erste Bank Serbia's shares.
Dec 2005: Erste Bank wins tender for 61.8825% stake in Banca Comercial? Roman? S.A. (BCR), the largest bank in Romania with 3.8 million clients and a market share of 32%.
Oct 2006: Erste Bank finalises the acquisition of BCR and increases its stake to 69.15%.
Jan 2007: Erste Bank acquires 100% of Bank Prestige in Ukraine. It plans to develop a country-wide distribution network and targets a market share of 4%-5% by total assets in 2009.
Jan 2007: Erste Bank signs the share purchase agreement to acquire 100% of the shares of Diners Club Adriatic d.d., Croatia.
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