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Where’s Our Money?

Where’s Our  Money?

Time is money. Even so, in banking, we’ve become used to the idea that moving it around can take a while. But it doesn’t need to. A transfer that takes one workday in Austria, takes three to seven days in the United States, and only a few seconds in the U.K.. Most European transfers are […]

Raiffeisen wins big

On 6 June, Raiffeisen Bank International AG (RBI) was awarded the title of “Best Bank in CEE & CIS 2012” by EMEA Finance magazine at the “European Banking Awards 2012 Ceremony” in Vienna. This is the fifth consecutive time the RBI has won this prestigious award. The bank also received seven awards in sub-categories, including […]

Austerity & the Lessons of 1919

Austerity & the Lessons of 1919

I’ve never liked the word “austerity”: It conjures up the world of Scrooge and Cruella Deville, of humourless Puritans and knuckle rapping schoolmarms determined to kill the least sign of enthusiasm before it gets out of hand. My childhood had its fair share of these characters, and I was familiar with the result. In the […]

At a Banker’s Discretion

At a Banker’s Discretion

      Granny’s Dangerous Savings Account, 9 Apr. by Eric Frey Austria has now given in to international pressure and declared itself ready for an automatic exchange of information in the EU. Foreign tax exiles will no longer be protected, though the domestic small saver will be fine. For domestic bank secrecy, supported by […]

Austrians Keep Their Secrets

Austrians Keep Their Secrets

Changing banking laws is tricky, wherever it’s done. It affects nations, businesses and citizens – in fact, everything. In Austria, the last big change was made in 1996, when it was decided that Austrian savings accounts (Sparbücher) could no longer be anonymous. By 2000, it was literally impossible to open a savings account without showing […]

Deconstructing the 99%

As protests erupt all over the world echoing the Occupy Wall Street movement, the democratic sentiment – the desire for more agency – is clear. The arguments and the passions behind them, however, are multi-layered and diverse. When the March on Wall Street began, it seemed like the long-awaited outcry that has been suppressed since […]

Italy Downgraded

On 4 Oct., the rating agency Moody’s downgraded Italy’s sovereign debt from Aa2 to A2, with a “negative outlook”, suggesting further downgrades could follow. In its report, Moody’s said the decision was driven by the debt crisis, which was causing a “sustained and non-cyclical erosion of confidence” in Europe and increasing “long-term funding risks” for […]

Hungary: let the banks pay

In late September, the Hungarian parliament passed a controversial law allowing holders of Swiss franc denominated mortgages to repay their loans in their entirety at a 23.4% discounted exchange rate, with banks forced to swallow the losses. The move strongly affects Austrian banks, with Erste Bank, Raffeisen and Bank Austria having a combined total of […]

Libyan Assets in Austria

The Austrian government is looking for ways to free up €1.2 billion in frozen Libyan assets held in Austrian commercial banks. Alexander Schallenberg, spokesperson for the Austrian Minister of Foreign Affairs, told The Vienna Review that the Ministry was applying to the United Nations Sanctions Committee to grant a partial release of the funds, and […]

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