Structure of the Austrian Financial Sector
Characteristics of the Austrian Financial Sector
The Austrian banking system is a so-called universal banking system. The universal bank model offers significant potential for synergies and it allows for a high degree of risk mitigation as well as for flexible adaptation to changes in the financial environment. For historical reasons, Austrian banks are organized in trade associations according to sectors. The sectoral structure is still in place although there are only few differences in the business models of individual banks nowadays. The sector of joint stock banks, housing construction banks and specialized credit institutions as well as the sector of mortgage banks are single-tier. Savings banks and Volksbanken have a two-tier structure and Raiffeisen banks reveil a three-tier structure.
Expansion to Central Eastern and South Eastern Europe
Driven by geographical proximity and historical ties, the Austrian banks started their expansion into Hungary and the former Czechoslovakia in the early 1990s. From there on, expansion continued dynamically and currently comprises virtually all of Central Eastern and South Eastern Europe. Today Austrian banks have subsidiaries with remarkable market shares in 19 countries, including Russia and Turkey.
Facts on Austrian Banks
Facts and figures on the Austrian financial sector are available on the websites of the Austrian Financial Market Authority and the Austrian Central Bank.
For information about the Austrian capital market please see the websites of the Vienna Stock Exchange and Oesterreichische Kontrollbank AG.