Austria's best banks: Reliable, efficient, prosperous

Best banks in Austria

Austria boasts a developed banking sector of over 700 institutions that play a key role in the country's economy. The best banks in Austria provide a wide range of services, catering to different needs such as retail banking for individual savings and loans, corporate banking to meet the capital needs of businesses, and investment banking and asset management for wealth management.

Austria's banking system is structured to provide specialized services to various industries. These banks operate under strict regulatory oversight to ensure the stability and safety of the financial system. Known for their reliability, efficiency and ability to cater to a variety of financial needs, the best Austrian banks contribute significantly to the development of the economy and enhance the financial health of the country.

Here is a list of the best banks in Austria, along with their financial performance and key highlights:

Oesterreichische Nationalbank (OeNB)

  • Founded: 1816
  • Headquarters: Vienna, Austria
  • Business profile: Central and Eastern Europe

The Oesterreichische Nationalbank (OeNB) serves as Austria's central bank, playing a key role in shaping monetary and economic policy in Austria and the eurozone.

It is responsible for a wide range of tasks, including managing money, ensuring financial stability and conducting effective monetary policy, which contributes to overall economic well-being. As an integral part of the ESCB, it upholds the principles of stability and security.

Historical background:

  • 1816: The OeNB was established to stabilize the currency and stimulate economic growth.
  • 1817-1998: The OeNB financed and managed operations, contributing to the growth of Austria's banking sector.
  • 1999: Austria's accession to the EU led to the OeNB becoming a member of the European System of Central Banks.
  • 1999-present: OeNB is tasked with ensuring and maintaining the stability of monetary policy in Austria within the European System of Central Banks.

Erste Group

  • Founded: 1819
  • Headquarters: Vienna, Austria
  • Business profile: Central and Eastern Europe

Erste Group Bank is Austria's leading savings bank and a leading provider of financial services in the eastern part of the European Union. It offers a wide range of retail, commercial and private banking solutions.

The bank's services cover savings and current accounts, loans, credit and debit cards, leasing, insurance, cash management, securities and derivatives trading, etc. With more than 16 million customers, the bank serves private individuals, financial institutions, government agencies and corporate customers throughout Austria and several Central and Eastern European countries.

Historical background:

  • 1819: Founded as Austria's first savings bank under the name "Erste oesterreichische Spar-Casse".
  • 1990s: Conversion to a public limited company and expansion into Central and Eastern Europe.
  • 2000s: Further expansion and introduction of innovative applications such as George, ERSTE Stiftung, Zweite Sparkasse and Financial Life Park.
  • Present: The Erste Group has established itself as a leading provider of financial services in Austria, Central and Eastern Europe.

Raiffeisen Bank International (RBI)

  • Founded: 1927
  • Headquarters: Vienna, Austria
  • Business profile: Central and Eastern Europe

Financial strength: Listed on major stock exchanges, strong capital base and solid financial performance.

Raiffeisen Bank International AG (RBI) is a major commercial and investment bank in Austria and Central and Eastern Europe (CEE), offering a broad range of services in retail and business banking, investments, commercial banking, leasing and asset management.

With a network of over 1 500 branches and serving around 17.7 million customers, RBI has established itself as one of the key players in the region. It also implements various sustainability initiatives such as green banking and digital payment methods in support of environmental and social objectives.

Historical background:

  • 1918-1939: Founded as Raiffeisen Zentralbank Österreich (RZB), a cooperative central bank.
  • 2010-2014: Rebranded as Raiffeisen Bank International (RBI) after merger and expanded operations through strategic acquisitions.
  • 2017: Merger with Raiffeisen Zentralbank Österreich AG (RZB), becoming the parent of Raiffeisen Banking Group (Austria) and acquiring core banking operations in Poland.
  • 2021: Merger with the parent company Raiffeisen Bank, making it the full successor of RZB under Austrian law.



  • Founded: 1922
  • Headquarters: Vienna, Austria
  • Business profile: Austria and selected international markets

BAWAG Group AG, the fourth largest bank in Austria, has a customer base of 2.1 million and is headquartered in Vienna. The bank is focused on organic growth, mergers and acquisitions (M&A), maintaining a strong capital position, minority investments and stable customer financing.

The bank's retail and SME strategy focuses on simplifying consumers' financial matters, while the corporate, real estate and public sector segment focuses on domestic and international lending, deposits, sovereign assets and payment services.

Historical Background:

  • 1922: Founded as the "Austrian Workers' Bank."
  • 1963: Renamed "Bank für Arbeit und Wirtschaft AG" (BAWAG), which translates as "Bank of Labor and Business".
  • 2005: Merger with P.S.K. to form BAWAG P.S.K.
  • 2017: BAWAG Group AG became a listed company on the Vienna Stock Exchange and entered the German market.
  • 2018-2021: Completion of several acquisitions including Deutscher Ring Bausparkasse, BFL Leasing, Health Coevo AG, Zahnärztekasse AG and Hello Bank! Austria.

UniCredit Bank Austria AG

  • Founded: 1855
  • Headquarters: Vienna, Austria
  • Business profile: Austria and selected international markets

UniCredit Bank Austria AG is a large, well-capitalized bank in Austria with more than 5 000 employees. It operates as part of UniCredit's Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) division and specializes in retail, corporate and investment banking.

The bank offers a wide range of financial solutions targeting a variety of clients, including corporate entities, high net worth individuals, real estate buyers, and private and public sector organizations. The bank's services include cash management, treasury services, brokerage, leasing, mobile and online banking, payment services, and more.

Historical background:

  • 1855: Founded as Creditanstalt Bank in Vienna, Austria.
  • 2001: Founded HVB Australia Limited as a subsidiary of Germany's HypoVereinsbank in Sydney, Australia.
  • 2005-2007: Acquisition by UniCredit Group, leading to the creation of UniCredit Bank Australia Limited.
  • 2014: Shifted focus to corporate and institutional banking.
  • Presently: Continues to operate as a subsidiary of the UniCredit group, serving customers in the region.

In conclusion, Austria's banking sector is characterized by a rich history, diverse offerings and a strong commitment to meeting the needs of individuals, businesses and organizations.

As the banking industry continues to evolve in response to technological advances, regulatory changes and changing consumer preferences, Austrian banks are well positioned to meet these challenges while maintaining their reputation for reliability, efficiency and customer satisfaction.

Overall, the best banks in Austria play a vital role in maintaining the country's financial health, driving economic growth and contributing to the overall prosperity of the region.


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