History

From „Allgemeine Sparkasse in Linz“ to „Sparkasse Oberösterreich“

Not often is the recent history of a city – especially the economic history – so closely associated with an institution, as it is in the case of Sparkasse in Linz for over 160 years.

Based on tradition and security, Sparkasse has developed from “an institution for poverty provision" in the centre of Linz to the bank with the largest number of customers in Upper Austria. It was founded on August 5, 1849 in a time of great social and economic change. The then “Allgemeine Sparcasse und Leihanstalt in Linz” was established by a group of wealthy citizens and members of the aristocracy, who donated a considerable sum of money. The bank acted more or less as a non-profit-organization for the benefit of the local society.

Sparkasse pursues social commitment

Since its foundation, Sparkasse is committed to social issues. So a part of the profit was used for helping the poor and for educational purposes. Furthermore Sparkasse considerably contributed to infrastructure projects, such as the introduction of gas lighting or the construction of the new bridge across the Danube (1868). The “Kaufmännische Vereinshaus”, the “Petrinum” and the State Museum were built with its financial support. During the construction of the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, the bank donated the so-called “Window of Linz”.

Europe's largest banking hall in Linz

In 1952, the headquarters of Sparkasse at the Promenade in Linz had to be restructured quickly due to rapidly growing business activities. With the roofing of the inner courtyard "Europe's largest banking hall" was created. In 1969, Sparkasse managed more than 232,000 savings accounts with its focus on Linz, so that on average each and every citizen of Linz had a savings account at the “Allgemeinen Sparkasse”. Another milestone in the bank's history was the introduction of the salary account in the mid-60s. At least one out of three had a salary account with the bank.

From „Allgemeine Sparkasse in Linz“ to „Sparkasse Oberösterreich“

With the new Banking Act and Savings Bank Act of 1979, the Savings Banks were given the status of universal banks. The path to a modern bank institute has successfully being pursued. A significant cornerstone in the long history of Allgemeine Sparkasse was by the time the banking operations were brought into a newly formed joint stock company under the name ALLGEMEINE SPARKASSE OBERÖSTERREICH BANK AG in 1990 (since 1999 additionally marketing-name: Sparkasse Oberösterreich). Due to numerous mergers with other Upper Austrian Savings Banks, the branch network could be doubled every year within two years. Even before the turn of the millennium, Sparkasse Oberösterreich took over all of the 50 branches of Erste Bank in Upper Austria, in return Erste Bank acquired a 26 percent share in the now largest Savings Bank of the province. Sparkasse Oberösterreich, first covering the greater area of Linz, became a regional bank. Its branches were already covering two-thirds of the area of Upper Austria just before the turn of the millennium. With the introduction of the Euro in 2002, Sparkasse Oberösterreich once again confirmed its position as a locally based provider of financial services for enterprises and the population of Upper Austria. As the only bank in Upper Austria, it opened its doors to customers on Saturday, December 15, 2001 in the 60 principal offices and on January 1, 2002 in all branches.

Sparkasse Oberösterreich defied the international crisis

The business model of Sparkasse Oberösterreich very successfully defied the international financial crisis in 2008. Thanks to favourable refinancing structures, there was no "credit crunch". Quite the opposite – the bank published a credit growth of 16 percent in its balance sheet in 2008 and provided additional funds and loans to the domestic economy and to private customers in subsequent years as part of its Upper-Austria-initiative. Sparkasse Oberösterreich exercised its responsibility in the region even in this challenging era.

Sparkasse Oberösterreich invests in and for Upper Austria

The ongoing revitalizations of the several business premises are major investment projects. Above all Upper Austrian companies are getting engaged for those implementation works, which in turn leads to a stimulation of the domestic economy. For example, the Sparkassen-Business-Center in Linz/Urfahr was reopened in 2008, after two years of complete redevelopment. It is the second “Sparkassen-landmark” of Linz, after the customer centre at the Promenade. Just in time for World Savings Day 2007 the former banking hall of the headquarters of Sparkasse Oberösterreich at the Promenade in Linz was presented as new customer centre, which convinces customers and visitors with its unique architecture and welcoming atmosphere. The new customer centre is an integral part of many sightseeing-tours of Linz. Even outside the state capital Sparkasse Oberösterreich makes large investments. With the opening of a Competence Centre in Ried im Innkreis, one of the few gaps on its map could be filled.

Bank customers in the region of Kremstal-Phyrn and the Mostviertel (Lower Austria) maintain stability, security and financial strength of the bank with the largest number of customers in Upper Austria

After the merger with Sparkasse Kremstal-Pyhrn and the acquisition of all branches of Erste Bank in the greater region of Haag (Lower Austria) in 2013, Sparkasse Oberösterreich now offers the complete range of consultation, products and services to people and companies in those regions in 21 branches.

IPS - Institutional Protection Scheme

In 2014 Sparkasse became member ob the IPS - Institutional Protection Scheme within the Savings Bank Group