Raiffeisen in Austria

A short history

Friedrich Wilhelm Raiffeisen   The Raiffeisen Banking Group was founded in 1886 by Friedrich Wilhelm Raiffeisen (1818-1888), one of the most important social reformers of the 19th century. The original goal was to provide basic banking services to the rural population based on cooperative principles.

Only ten years after the foundation of the first Raiffeisenkasse in Muehldorf (Lower Austria), 600 banks were operating according to the Raiffeisen system. Those local cooperatives formed Raiffeisen Regional Banks as regional clearing institutions. RVS was founded in 1905. On a federal level, a joint association was founded in 1898 ("Austrian Raiffeisen Association") and the central institution Raiffeisen Zentralbank Oesterreich AG in 1927.

The banking group's unique trade mark is the so called "gable cross" - a symbol of protection and cooperation.

The Raiffeisen idea has proven to be timeless: Today, the Raiffeisen Banking Group is not only Austria's largest banking group but one of the most important banking groups and investors in Central and Eastern Europe.