Austria’s second biggest lender announces ‘massive’ cost-cutting plan

By IVCPOST Staff Reporter

Jul 13, 2013 02:25 PM EDT

Austria's Raiffeisen Bank International (RBI) is about to bite the bullet as it launches a cost-cutting program to raise Eur 1.8 billion in the near future to meet global capital standards.

RBI is considered as the second biggest lender in Eastern Europe, next only to UniCredit's Bank Austria. But the less-than stellar growth in the region forced the company to cut back on expenses.

Among the casualties will be shuttering off some of its branches although the total is yet to be determined, its new CEO Karl Sevelda was quoted in Der Standard on Saturday. As he told the newspaper, "We are dealing with triple-digit million amounts."

The executive, however, said that the bank is not likely going to pare down its operations in Austria, Russia, Romania, Slovakia, Poland and Czech Republic as it realizes the growth potential of these areas.

The same is not true for its other markets where the operations of RBI will "more likely stagnate."

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