Founded in 1819 as the first Austrian savings bank, Erste Group went public in Vienna in 1997. Its strategy was to expand its retail business into Central and Eastern Europe (CEE). Since then Erste Group has grown through numerous acquisitions and organically to become one of the largest financial services providers in the Eastern part of the EU. It currently serves approximately 16.5mn clients and holds a total of EUR 198bn in assets:
- Erste Group is a leading bank in the majority of the countries in the CEE region. It currently runs 2,800 branches in seven countries: Austria, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Romania, Hungary, Croatia and Serbia.
- Erste Group is the number one asset manager in CEE with EUR 51 bn in assets under management.
- Erste Group's key business is the retail business, covering the entire spectrum from lending, deposit and investment products to current accounts and credit cards.
Besides its traditional strength in serving private individuals, Erste Group's core activities include advisory services and support for corporate clients in financing, investment and access to international capital markets, public sector funding and interbank market operations.
Erste Group’s top priority is its commitment to projects in the CEE region. Erste Group holds a top position in debt capital markets in Austria and CEE with over a 10% market share and a 17% market share in corporate banking.