ZUNO BANK AG, the direct bank of Raiffeisen Bank International AG (RBI), has launched its operations in Slovakia, the first of ZUNO’s targeted markets in CEE. RBI is a leading banking group in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) and Austria and part of Austria’s largest banking group.
ZUNO allows RBI to better capture the rapidly-growing segment of modern customers who are especially online savvy. The direct bank targets those persons who conduct their banking activities mainly on the Internet and rarely visit bank branches. «ZUNO is an excellent complement to our almost 3,000 branches across Central and Eastern Europe. It underlines our commitment to the region and will in the long term significantly contribute to our Group’s deposit base,» said Herbert Stepic, CEO of Raiffeisen Bank International and the Chairman of ZUNO BANK’s supervisory board.
ZUNO’s launch brings with it a new view on providing banking services. «We have looked into how banking can be done in a simpler and more interesting way. ZUNO’s approach reflects new insights in terms of products, user experience, and customer communications. We may well be the first bank to admit there are definitely more important things in life than banking. People in our target group think that the best bank for them is the one they notice the least or spend the least time with. ZUNO’s approach and offerings acknowledge this new client behaviour and reflect our ambition to appeal to all those people who expect banking to be easy,» Andras Hamori, CEO of ZUNO BANK, said today at a press conference held in Bratislava.
ZUNO will initially focus on attracting new clients by offering deposit products. The direct bank is launching with an offering consisting of current accounts accompanied by debit cards, savings accounts, and term deposits. ZUNO intends to continuously develop its product portfolio to cover the most-used basic banking needs, but has no ambition to develop into a complex, full-scope bank. Currently, ZUNO’s customers in Slovakia will have two options to choose from: the so-called «pay as you go» model is directed at those people who are focused on their savings, while the «prepaid» model is suitable for frequent current account users who conduct a higher volume of transactions. In both cases, using ZUNO can be for free. Moreover, users’ savings account balances can be automatically connected to their current account balances. Doing so enables better money management and ensures higher interest on the customers’ available money at ZUNO.
«We are not promising zero fees for all our services, but it will be very easy for customers to get a free-of-charge account at ZUNO,» said Dana Kondrotova, General Manager of ZUNO’s Slovak operations. «Thanks to our direct banking model with no cost-intensive branch network and lower operational costs, we will be able to offer not only low or zero fees, but also top interest rates not just at the launch, but also over the long term. It is important for us to be consistent and deliver on our promises, as doing so ensures that our customers will have no bad surprises with us.»
Although focusing on the Internet, ZUNO will also be tangible for customers, with a flagship store named «ZUNO ZONE» located in Bratislava’s Eurovea shopping mall and two smaller ones that will be opened soon in Zilina and Kosice. Apart from being sales points, these sites will also serve as «touch-and-feel» points for the ZUNO brand.
In December 2009, the Austrian Financial Market Authority granted the banking license for the direct bank, which is based in Vienna and operates as a subsidiary of Raiffeisen Bank International with an Austrian banking license. The «Single European Passport» principle allows the new direct bank to enter the banking market in another EU member state simply by following a notification process with the competent regulatory authorities. After its roll out in Slovakia, ZUNO BANK intends to launch operations in the Czech Republic and Poland in 2011 and has already legally established subsidiaries in both countries. ZUNO also aims to expand into other CEE countries at a later stage.
Additional information on ZUNO BANK AG is available www.zuno.eu
Raiffeisen Bank International AG (RBI) regards both Austria, where it is a leading corporate and investment bank, and Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) as its home market. In CEE, RBI operates an extensive network of subsidiary banks, leasing companies and a range of other specialised financial service providers in 17 markets. RBI is already present in Slovakia via its fully-consolidated subsidiary Tatra banka, the country’s third-largest bank.
RBI is the only Austrian bank with a presence in both the world’s financial centres and in Asia, the group’s further geographical area of focus.
In total, more than 59,000 RBI employees service about 15 million customers through around 3,000 business outlets, the great majority of which are located in CEE.
RBI is a fully-consolidated subsidiary of Raiffeisen Zentralbank Osterreich AG (RZB). RZB indirectly owns around 78.5 per cent of the common stock, the remainder is in free float. RBI’s shares are listed on the Vienna Stock Exchange. RZB is the central institution of the Austrian Raiffeisen Banking Group, the country’s largest banking group, and serves as the group head office of the entire RZB Group, including RBI.