Erste Asset Management

Social banking as engine for the development of society in CEE

Social banking as engine for the development of society in CEE
Social banking as engine for the development of society in CEE
(c) Erste Group
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Social Banking is one of the most visible ways for us as Erste Group to live up to the philosophy of our founders, and as such has become one of the pillars of our ESG strategy (environment, social, and governance).

With our social banking activities across our seven markets, we support all those who are affected by poverty or social exclusion, and we thus support economic growth and welfare in the region.

Why social banking?

Even though the countries in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) have recorded a remarkable economic development in the past ten years, there are still millions of people in our region who are affected by poverty and social exclusion.

They have no, or very limited, access to financial services and are faced with acute social challenges such as unemployment, insufficient care for their elderly, and a lack of access to affordable housing.

Together with the local offices of Erste Group, ERSTE Foundation, and our partner organisations, we support people in poverty and at risk of falling into poverty by financing start-ups and micro-enterprises and thus creating jobs and by supporting social institutions in caring for more people in need.

The social banking programmes for people encountering financial hardship offer advice and financial solution to individuals and families and help them to find a way out of their excessive debt. In addition, innovative approaches are tested as part of pilot projects in social housing in order to facilitate access to affordable housing for disadvantaged sections of the population. A new product has recently been launched that supports social companies in their efforts to strengthen their equity base.

Support for our customers – also during times of crises

The corona pandemic hit the weakest members of society particularly hardest last year – not only in terms of health, but also financially (job loss or lower income).

This makes the support that social banking offered to more than 10,000 customers in the pandemic year of 2020 even more important – whether it was finance, business training, or financial literacy training. Overall, social banking granted loans of EUR 53mn to founders, micro-enterprises, and social organisations as well as to individuals in financial difficulties across CEE.

“In 2020, we showed that we stuck by our customers through difficult times with financial help and advice. We will continue to support the people in our region when it comes to overcoming the effects of the corona crisis, such as rising unemployment, a growing risk of poverty, and challenges in connection with affordable housing,” says Peter Surek, Head of Social Banking Development with Erste Group.

For more information on the social banking highlights 2020, please visit the Impact Report.

No charity, but functioning social business approach

“Our activities in social banking are no charity – they are part of a functioning social business approach that ensures that we can contribute sustainably to the welfare of the people in our region,” as Bernd Spalt, CEO of Erste Group, explains.

Since the establishment of Social Banking in 2016, Erste Group has invested almost EUR 400mn as loans in the social development of the CEE region. A total of 36,000 customers are cared for in the region, more than 15,000 jobs have been newly created, and more than 30,000 jobs have been preserved. With its initiatives and projects, social banking also contributes significantly to the fulfilment of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Please read more about Erste Group Social Banking here.

Read the full ESGenius newsletter on social responsibility and sustainable investing:

Legal note:

Prognoses are no reliable indicator for future performance.



Legal disclaimer

This document is an advertisement. Unless indicated otherwise, source: Erste Asset Management GmbH. The language of communication of the sales offices is German and the languages of communication of the Management Company also include English.

The prospectus for UCITS funds (including any amendments) is prepared and published in accordance with the provisions of the InvFG 2011 as amended. Information for Investors pursuant to § 21 AIFMG is prepared for the alternative investment funds (AIF) administered by Erste Asset Management GmbH pursuant to the provisions of the AIFMG in conjunction with the InvFG 2011.

The currently valid versions of the prospectus, the Information for Investors pursuant to § 21 AIFMG, and the key information document can be found on the website under “Mandatory publications” and can be obtained free of charge by interested investors at the offices of the Management Company and at the offices of the depositary bank. The exact date of the most recent publication of the prospectus, the languages in which the key information document is available, and any other locations where the documents can be obtained are indicated on the website A summary of the investor rights is available in German and English on the website and can also be obtained from the Management Company.

The Management Company can decide to suspend the provisions it has taken for the sale of unit certificates in other countries in accordance with the regulatory requirements.

Note: You are about to purchase a product that may be difficult to understand. We recommend that you read the indicated fund documents before making an investment decision. In addition to the locations listed above, you can obtain these documents free of charge at the offices of the referring Sparkassen bank and the offices of Erste Bank der oesterreichischen Sparkassen AG. You can also access these documents electronically at

N.B.: The performance scenarios listed in the key information document are based on a calculation method that is specified in an EU regulation. The future market development cannot be accurately predicted. The depicted performance scenarios merely present potential earnings, but are based on the earnings in the recent past. The actual earnings may be lower than indicated. Our analyses and conclusions are general in nature and do not take into account the individual characteristics of our investors in terms of earnings, taxation, experience and knowledge, investment objective, financial position, capacity for loss, and risk tolerance.

Please note: Past performance is not a reliable indicator of the future performance of a fund. Investments in securities entail risks in addition to the opportunities presented here. The value of units and their earnings can rise and fall. Changes in exchange rates can also have a positive or negative effect on the value of an investment. For this reason, you may receive less than your originally invested amount when you redeem your units. Persons who are interested in purchasing units in investment funds are advised to read the current fund prospectus(es) and the Information for Investors pursuant to § 21 AIFMG, especially the risk notices they contain, before making an investment decision. If the fund currency is different than the investor’s home currency, changes in the relevant exchange rate can positively or negatively influence the value of the investment and the amount of the costs associated with the fund in the home currency.

We are not permitted to directly or indirectly offer, sell, transfer, or deliver this financial product to natural or legal persons whose place of residence or domicile is located in a country where this is legally prohibited. In this case, we may not provide any product information, either.

Please consult the corresponding information in the fund prospectus and the Information for Investors pursuant to § 21 AIFMG for restrictions on the sale of the fund to American or Russian citizens.

It is expressly noted that this communication does not provide any investment recommendations, but only expresses our current market assessment. Thus, this communication is not a substitute for investment advice, does not take into account the legal regulations aimed at promoting the independence of financial analyses, and is not subject to a prohibition on trading following the distribution of financial analyses.

This document does not represent a sales activity of the Management Company and therefore may not be construed as an offer for the purchase or sale of financial or investment instruments.

Erste Asset Management GmbH is affiliated with the referring Sparkassen banks and Erste Bank.

Please also read the “Information about us and our securities services” published by your bank.

Subject to misprints and errors.

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