Our genetic code

We really are different from other banks

Founded in 1819. Unique ever since.

Erste Group has a strong, unique identity. And it is based on one simple concept:

Here, you are not just in the business of banking. You are in the business ofhelping people lead better money lives.

That was the mission of our founding fathers, when they created this bank to fight poverty some 200 years ago. And it is the mission of our banking group today.

We were also the first to pursue this mission in Central and Eastern Europe, helping ordinary people in the region toreach greater prosperity and financial independence, one small step at a time.

Creating and sharing wealth are concepts that we first created. And we still uphold them, in our name: Erste, meaning “first”.

What makes Erste Group great?

Erste opened its doors some 200 years ago and hasn’t closed them since. By following our roots we became a leading financial corporation in Central and Eastern Europe, serving 17 million customers.

More than 190 years in 4 minutes – watch this short movie to learn more about the history of Erste Group.

Four principles that guide us

We have indentified four principles that guide us in doing business.

Providing access to financial services without discriminating has been our heritage since our foundation in 1819.

The goal of Erste Group is to provide access to all those seeking advice on how to make better decisions in their money-lives.

We only sell products we understand. We only sell products that our customers understand.

This does not mean that our products or services are in any way primitive. What it means is that we understand exactly what the intentions and problems of our customers are. Understanding the need for simplicity leads to integrity: we act in the interests of our customers.

The creation of wealth is the purpose of our banking model. Individuals should have the chance to be able to stand on their own feet. They should have opportunities to make free and independent decisions.

We have a two century long tradition of being independent. We want to keep it that way.

We will further improve the independence of our customers by fostering financial literacy.

Growth remains a principle of our wealth creation model – especially in times like these.

There are limits to growth. But beyond every limit there are new opportunities.

Resources are limited, human creativity is not. Ideas are boundless and the combinations of ideas are unlimited. Growth does not necessarily mean “more”. Growth also can mean “better”.