Reliable partner since 1825

The early 19th century was dominated by political, economic and social upheaval. There was a shift in the European order, and the population found itself in challenging times. The need for reliability and stability was greater than ever. Besides politics and business, financial institutions were also called upon to meet this desire for stability.

Steiermärkische Sparkasse was created early on – in 1825, to be precise – as a reliable partner that enshrined security and stability in its founding principle. In a time in which there were economic problems and state welfare was virtually unheard of, it gave people the opportunity to invest their savings securely in order to earn interest and make provision for the future. With its social commitment, Steiermärkische Sparkasse first showed roughly 200 years ago that it believes in the people in our state.

A quick run-through of our history

The first business premises of “Steyermärkische Spar-Casse” opened at Schmiedgasse 9 in Graz on 15 May 1825. The founding father was the Emperor’s personal representative in Styria, Count Franz de Paula von Hartig. Count von Hartig was not only the founder, but also decided to take on the role of the first ever customer. He handed the cashier the sum of 100 gulden, investing it in the hope of doing good for his fellow men. The money was destined to go to the aid of poor but gifted schoolchildren in Graz.

Unlike today, with Steiermärkische Sparkasse offering an extensive range of regional and digital services, in its first 100 years it was permitted to operate in only two sectors: taking deposits and granting mortgage loans. New services were added over the centuries, and Steiermärkische Sparkasse became a modern bank that always focuses on people.

In 1967, the decision was made to build a new Sparkasse building – the current headquarters at Andreas-Hofer-Platz and Sparkassenplatz. This was followed by numerous new branches at new locations – from 1965 to 2010, 20 regional savings banks were purchased in Styria.

When the banking operations were put into a stock corporation (AG) in 1991, Steiermärkische Sparkasse adapted to international standards.
The following year, the two independent institutions Steiermärkische Bank and Steiermärkische Sparkasse were merged into one: today’s Steiermärkische Bank und Sparkassen AG.
There was an enormous growth spurt in 2000, when Steiermärkische Sparkasse took over Erste Bank Österreich’s branches in Styria. In return, Erste Bank Österreich acquired a stake of 25 % and one share in Steiermärkische Sparkasse.

New opportunities in the southeast

In the mid-1990s, Steiermärkische Sparkasse used the opportunities arising from political changes in Europe to expand in the Western Balkans. The Southeast European neighbours were therefore no longer just a popular destination for Austrian holidaymakers, but also, from 1997, a financial opportunity for Steiermärkische Sparkasse. Acquisitions of Croatian banks ultimately led to the establishment of “Erste und Steiermärkische Bank d.d”, the third-largest bank in Croatia, in 2001. This was soon followed by further expansions in Slovenia, Serbia, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina and North Macedonia. Business dealings with the southern neighbours have intensified significantly in recent years. The countries of the extended domestic market have now become important partners for Steiermärkische Sparkasse.

Hello future!

At the start of the 1970s, Steiermärkische Sparkasse made its first tentative steps into the computer age when it opened its first data centre.

Today, digitalisation is ubiquitous and changing nearly every area of life and work. Steiermärkische Sparkasse is using the digitalisation of the banking business to further extend its leading role and to be a reliable financial partner in all situations, even outside of the branch. This is clearly demonstrated by George, the most state-of-the-art online banking in Austria, and Telebanking Pro, the modern financial solution for businesses. But Steiermärkische Sparkasse would not be Steiermärkische Sparkasse if it were not already thinking about tomorrow: The oldest and largest financial institution in Styria is still investing continuously in the development of new digital services in order to bring a little bit of the future into customers’ everyday lives today. In 2019, Steiermärkische Sparkasse started supporting Apple Pay ®. Contactless payment via an iPhone, Apple Watch, etc., offers a foretaste of a successful digital future.

The combination of state-of-the-art digital services and a dense regional network of advisors allows Steiermärkische Sparkasse to fulfil its ambition of being a reliable partner for people day in, day out – be it in person or digitally.