Banks on their Way out of the Crisis. What Have We Learned? - Discussion series “Binder Grösswang impulse”
Approximately 180 guests and friends of Binder Grösswang accepted the invitation of managing partners Michael Binder and Raoul Hoffer to participate in the discussion on the subject of Banks on their Way out of the Crisis. What Have We Learned?, which took place in the firm’s conference area on 3 March 2010.
The panellists were Prof. Dr. Ewald Nowotny (Governor of the Oesterreichische Nationalbank), Willibald Cernko (CEO of UniCredit Bank Austria AG) and Dr. Walter Rothensteiner (CEO of Raiffeisen Zentralbank Österreich AG). The discussion was moderated by Michael Nikbakhsh, Head of the Economics Department of "Profil" magazine.
Oesterreichische Nationalbank Governor Ewald Nowotny affirmed: "The financial crisis has shown that in addition to their primary objective of maintaining price stability, central banks can and must also make a substantial contribution to the stability of the financial market. The financial crisis has taught us a wide range of things, from more effective supervision and regulation to important elements of fiscal policy, which in good times needs to increase the leeway for anti-cyclical measures in times of crisis."
Bank Austria’s CEO Willibald Cernko emphasised: "For us, the avoidance of new crises has priority, in particular through a better capitalisation of the banks. What we want to see in future, moreover, is this: the riskier business transactions are, the more strongly they should be backed by equity capital. This has a strong regulating effect."
Walter Rothensteiner stated clearly that a general criticism of all Austrian banks was not appropriate, since only a very small percentage have had problems. He also emphasised how important it is, especially at present, for banks to be well endowed with equity capital. Rothensteiner believes that if the government is determined to introduce a bank tax, it should at least have a regulating effect and the assessment basis should not be the balance sheet total. The good news, he said, was that the statutory fee on credit agreement contracts was going to be abolished.
Among the guests who attended were the Italian Ambassador Massimo Spinetti, Peter Untersperger (CEO, Lenzing AG), Friedrich J. Neubrand (CEO, GrECo International AG), Johannes Attems (CEO, Österreichische Kontrollbank), Helmut Urban (CEO, Semper Constantia Privatbank), Hannes Leitgeb (CEO, Pfandbriefstelle der österreichischen Landes-Hypothekenbanken), Hans Kvasnicka (CEO, Hypo Wohnbaubank AG), Freimut Dobretsberger (Chairman of the Supervisory Board, A-TEC Industries AG), Adolf Tripold (CEO, Wiesenthal & Co AG), Benoit Riehl (Director General, Société Générale), Heimo Hackel (CEO, card complete), Herbert Pichler (Managing Director of the Bank and Insurance Division, Austrian Federal Economic Chamber), Markus Fichtinger (CEO, Aktienforum), Johann Maurer (CEO, Innovest Finanzdienstleistungs AG), Ernst Rosi (RZB), Stefan Zapotocky (CEO, BAST AG), Ewald Judt (Managing Director, Paylife), Gilbert Trattner (CEO, ÖBB-Infrastruktur AG), Viktoria Kickinger (CEO, INARA), Heinz Rindler (Österreichische Entwicklungsbank AG), Emanuel Maravic (EIB), Markus Richter (ÖBB-Holding AG), Stefan Süssenbach (Investkredit Bank AG), Arnold Bubeck (Landesbank Baden-Württemberg), Ingo Bleier (Erste Bank der österreichischen Sparkassen AG), Randolf Fochler (Scholdan & Company) and Wolfgang Rosam (Change Communications).
Binder Grösswang is one of Austria’s leading law firms, particularly in the fields of banking law and financing, and has for years achieved top rankings in all international law firm directories (Chambers Global, Legal 500, IFLR, PLC Which Lawyer). In recent years, Binder Grösswang has been involved in nearly all major financial transactions in Austria.
The discussion series “Binder Grösswang impulse” was initiated in the spring of 2009 by the commercial law firm Binder Grösswang. The discussions, led by panels composed of outstanding personages, focus on topics of current interest and are held three or four times annually in exclusive surroundings at the firm’s premises in Vienna.