As of Monday, 3 December, Bank Austria will operate under the name UniCredit Bank in the Cayman Islands.
Managing Director Franz Friedl said the name change was a natural progression from the 2005 merger between UniCredit Group and HVB Group.
‘It was the first cross-boarder merger in Europe that has continued successfully,’ Mr. Friedl said.
UniCredit Group is one of the largest banking and financial services organisations in Europe with a network of 9,000 branches and local roots in 23 countries. Its international network is made of branches, representative offices and small banking subsidiaries in 50 countries worldwide.
The name change to UniCredit will also affect other banks in the group’s network.
‘Up until now, we’ve been working under various names in various countries,’ Mr. Friedl said, adding that the name Bank Austria would continue to be used in Austria.
‘The rule of thumb is that in countries where we have at least 20 per cent of the market share, we keep the original name,’ he said. ‘However, we are moving toward a more homogenous appearance in all countries.’
The UniCredit logo will become the logo of all the network banks, even if they keep the original name, Mr. Friedl said.
Here in Cayman, one other change that has been made is to the e-mail addresses of the bank’s employees, which now include the UniCredit name.
Mr. Friedl said the new name signifies the bank’s identity with UniCredit.
‘It reflects clearly and more authentically that we are part of a very large international corporate group,’ he said. ‘It indicates we are much more interlinked with an international network and that we’re able to service customers better with those closer links… and our customers will benefit.’
Bank Austria was formed in 1991 with the merger of Zentralsparkasse und Kommerzialbank and Oesterreichische Laenderbank. It took over Creditanstalt, Austria’s second-largest bank, in 1997. It then merged with the German-based HVB Group in 2000.
Bank Austria started operations in the Cayman Islands in 1998. It was awarded the Investor in People designation in 2005 for showing commitment to the development of its people and providing for a progressive work environment.