The Banking Scene Afterwork

Leveraging Finance for Social Impact: Perspectives by Erste Group

Erste Group Bank AG (Erste Group) is an Austrian financial service provider in Central and Eastern Europe serving 15.7 million clients in over 2,700 branches in seven countries.

In 2018, we invited Erste Bank to our Brussels conference to explain their financial education efforts and their Zweite Bank project. Zweite Bank is a socially oriented bank run by volunteers from Erste Bank and the Sparkassen Group, with no aim for any profits.

Die Zweite Sparkasse aims to provide banking services to clients with financial problems. It has has one goal: to make these people financially healthy and ready to be served by a regular bank like Erste Bank. This is only one of the Erste Bank initiatives to impact the lives of people and society positively.

Together with ERSTE Foundation, Erste Group Bank AG established Erste Social Finance Holding in 2008. This holding aims for positive social impact, in line with Erste Group’s stated purpose of disseminating prosperity and providing access to financial services to everyone. It acts as a social finance investor and intermediary in the CEE region, investing into social business models and launching innovative social finance instruments.

We invite their CEO, Peter Surek, to learn what “Banking for Good” means to him. He will explain their vision on positively impacting the lives of people and society and why this should not jeopardise the profitability of a bank.

In this session, you’ll learn:

  • What does social banking essentially mean to Peter Surek?
  • Why is it so important for Erste Group to have a strong positive impact on people and society and how deep is it engrained in the DNA of the company?
  • Which initiatives have they launched to bring a positive impact to their stakeholders?
  • How does a stock-traded bank balance shareholder and stakeholder interests?


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