The FINANCIAL -- The Banker, the renowned magazine of the Financial Times Group, awarded Raiffeisen Zentralbank Österreich AG (RZB) the title "Bank of the Year" in Austria for the second consecutive time.
The Network Banks in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Serbia, Slovakia and Ukraine received the awards for their Thome markets. The awards were presented at a reception in London on December 1.
"The awards prove once again that RZB holds a good strategic position. Not only has the RZB Group been consistently recording sustained earning power during the past couple of years, it also continues to grow clearly stronger than the market. It therefore further improved its market position both in Austria and Central and Eastern Europe", stated Walter Rothensteiner, RZB's Chairman of the Managing Board and Raiffeisen International's Chairman of the Supervisory Board.
The title "Bank of the Year", which is among the most prestigious ones in the financial industry, is awarded for different regions, countries and categories. The selection process takes into account qualitative criteria such as asset growth and profitability as well as the development and implementation of state-of-the-art technical infrastructure and future-oriented strategies.
According to RZB, due to its outstanding performance, RZB received the award as "Bank of the Year" in Austria for the second time in a row. Clear customer-focus, excellent product quality combined with a customer oriented and innovative strategy provided the basis for the jury's decision.
Additional awards for Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Serbia, Slovakia and Ukraine
The magazine's awards for Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Serbia, Slovakia and Ukraine acknowledge the banks' performance in providing top-quality products and services to both retail and corporate customers.
"We appreciate the awards as recognition of our successful growth during the past year", added Herbert Stepic, Raiffeisen International's CEO. "These awards are a tremendous motivation for all of us to continue working towards our goal, namely to become the leading banking group in Central and Eastern Europe."
Raiffeisen Bank d.d. Bosna i Hercegovina, grew to 89 business outlets by the third quarter 2007. Raiffeisen International has acquired the bank in July 2000. With total assets of € 1,919 million (as of 30 September 2007), it is the country's second-largest bank.
Raiffeisen Bank Kosovo S.A. is the province's second-largest bank. Its balance-sheet total amounted to € 452 million at 30 September 2007, an increase of 21 per cent compared to the end of the previous year.
Raiffeisen banka a.d., Serbia, kept is leading position in the country with a balance-sheet total of € 2,471 million (as of 30 September 2007, plus 12 per cent) and received the award "Best Bank" for the fourth consecutive time. It has become the bank for leading local and multinational companies as well as for more than 500,000 private individuals, small enterprises and micro customers.
Tatra banka a.s., Slovakia, won the prestigious award already for the fourth time due to its profitability, local growth and innovation power. It is the country's third-largest bank, having increased its total assets by almost 15 per cent to € 6,956 million at the end of the third quarter 2007.
VAT Raiffeisen Bank Aval, Ukraine, received the award celebrating its 15th anniversary. The bank's balance-sheet total has increased by 38 per cent to € 5,912 million at the end of the third quarter 2007.