Raiffeisen International Direct Bank AG, the newly founded direct bank of Raiffeisen International Bank-Holding AG, will operate as ZUNO BANK across the region of Central and Eastern Europe (CEE), where it will first be launched in Slovakia later this year.
«ZUNO BANK, which is the latest addition to Raiffeisen International’s network of banks, will provide retail customers with a new and very modern way of banking. This approach is reflected both in its name and in a new visual identity, which we will reveal later this year at the launch of our operations in Slovakia,» said Herbert Stepic, CEO of Raiffeisen International. While ZUNO BANK AG is now its official name, the new bank will operate under the ZUNO brand.
In developing a new banking brand from scratch, ZUNO represents a unique case in the CEE banking sector within the past few years. «For this challenging task, we decided to cooperate with the professionals of the world-renowned British branding agency The Brand Union. We set numerous criteria for selecting our name: We wanted a short, unconventional and distinctive name for our bank, one that is easy to remember and fits in all of the CEE markets from a cultural and linguistic perspective. At the same time, we opted for a name that is ’internet-friendly’ — after all, the internet is going to be ZUNO’s home», Andras Hamori, CEO of ZUNO BANK, stated. Terry Tyrrell, The Brand Union’s Worldwide CEO, said: «It has been an exciting challenge to create a new brand that is both unique and memorable across the CEE region. The name ZUNO is beautifully simple, yet fresh with a distinctive personality that will set it apart from competitors.»
The bank will specifically target people who prefer to use the internet as the primary communication channel with their bank. This group consists mainly of educated young persons who live in urban areas and usually prefer not to visit bank branches. They are modern thinkers who are living active lives and are able and willing to save money. «This segment requires innovative solutions. With our website and online banking platform, we aim at differentiating ourselves from other offerings and at making this uniqueness visible immediately. While the name ZUNO emphasizes that newness, our logo — which we will reveal at a later date — will underline our ties to Raiffeisen, one of the most trusted brands in CEE banking. With its brand identity and values, ZUNO will create a community for those who aspire to be different,» Andras Hamori concluded.
At the end of 2009, Raiffeisen International announced its intention to enter the CEE markets with a new direct banking model. The group plans to launch ZUNO across the CEE region, starting with a roll-out in Slovakia by the end of 2010. While the direct bank will initially focus on attracting new clients by offering deposit products, ZUNO intends to continuously develop its product portfolio to reflect customers’ needs.
Raiffeisen International’s direct banking subsidiary was granted the relevant banking license by the Austrian Financial Market Authority in December 2009. 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.
Raiffeisen International operates one of the largest banking networks in CEE, covering 17 markets across the region through subsidiary banks, leasing companies and a range of other financial service providers. The group’s 56,000 employees service more than 15 million customers through around 3,000 business outlets. Raiffeisen International is a fully-consolidated subsidiary of Raiffeisen Zentralbank Österreich AG (RZB), which owns about 70 per cent of the common stock. The remainder is in free float, with the shares listed on the Vienna Stock Exchange. RZB is a leading corporate and investment bank in Austria and the central institution of the Austrian Raiffeisen Banking Group, the country’s largest banking group.