Within the Raiffeisen Banking Group (RBG), RBI is the central institute of the regional Raiffeisen banks and other affiliated credit institutions. In this function, it renders particularly the liquidity balancing for the affiliated credit institutions under the relevant legal rules and is a member of the federal-IPS. Moreover, RBI cooperates with the RBG in selected areas (e. g. Marketing) and projects (e. g. Digital Regional Bank).
RBI is the central institute of the regional Raiffeisen banks. Together with the 434 banks of the Raiffeisen sector (as per 31 December 2016), they form the largest cash pool in Austria. According to the Banking Act (§27a), members of this cash pool are required to hold a liquidity reserve at the central institute. The liquidity reserve is calculated as being 10 per cent of the savings deposits and 20 per cent of the other Euro deposits, subject to a maximum of 14 per cent of the entire Euro deposits.
As the Raiffeisen sector has a three-tier structure, the liquidity balancing takes place on two levels:
- in the ratio between the Raiffeisen banks and regional Raiffeisen banks (central institutes of the Raiffeisen banks) and
- in the ratio between the regional Raiffeisen banks and RBI (central institute of the regional Raiffeisen banks).
The system of liquidity balancing comprises two components. On the one hand, the banks affiliated to the central institute place their liquidity at the disposal of the central institute; on the other hand, the banks affiliated to the central institute receive the liquidity they required from the central institute. This ensures the ability of the cash pool to function and thus ensures financial market stability in Austria.
Apart from its role as central institute, RBI also offers the regional Raiffeisen banks numerous other services. Amongst others, RBI coordinates maintenance of the minimum reserve of the RBG at the Oesterreichische Nationalbank (OeNB, Austria’s central bank) by determining and bundling the payment streams and forwarding them to the OeNB. As a service provider to the Raiffeisen sector, RBI offers among other things support in payment transactions.
Institutional Protection Scheme (IPS) – Federal-IPS
Institutional protection schemes (IPS) approved by the Financial Market Authority have been established within the RBG since the end of 2014. Contractual or statutory liability arrangements were concluded as well. The schemes and liability arrangements protect the participating institutions and, in particular, ensure their liquidity and solvency when required. The IPS is based on uniform, joint risk monitoring pursuant to Article 49 CRR (Capital Requirements Regulation). The IPS was designed with two levels (federal and regional IPS) to reflect RBG’s organizational structure. In the course of the merger of RZB and RBI, RBI as the central institute will join the federal IPS, whose members, in addition to the regional Raiffeisen banks, include Raiffeisen-Holding Niederösterreich-Wien, Posojilnica Bank (formerly ZVEZA Bank), Raiffeisen Wohnbaubank and Raiffeisen Bausparkasse.
The federal IPS is subject to regulatory supervision. Therefore, the capital adequacy requirements of the CRR must also be complied with at the level of the federal IPS. The federal IPS relies on uniform, joint risk monitoring as part of the early warning system of the ÖRE (Österreichische Raiffeisen-Einlagensicherung eGen; Austrian Raiffeisen Deposit Insurance). The IPS hence supplements the RBG system of mutual assistance that comes into effect if a member experiences economic difficulties.
RBI renders important services for efficient cooperation within the Raiffeisen Banking Group (RBG):
RBI Group Marketing is responsible for the strategic brand management and marketing activities of the RBG:
Strategic management of the “Raiffeisen“ brand
- creation and development of a consistent appearance (Corporate Design) that is binding for the entire RBG
- planning, development and implementation of all strategic tasks for the maintenance and management of the brand “Raiffeisen” (Corporate Identity)
Management of Central Raiffeisen Advertising (ZRW)
- creation of a marketing masterplan for the target groups “Private Customers”, “Youth” and “Corporate Customers” as well as ongoing coordination with special institutes of the RBG
- planning, development and implementation of nationwide image campaigns and RBG campaigns for products, topics and target groups
- development and implementation of a the nationwide sponsoring strategy
RBI exercises its auditing responsibility through its division Group Internal Audit in accordance with §42 of the Austrian Banking Act (BWG) as internal auditor of RBI and group auditor of the RBI Group. Ongoing and extensive audits are undertaken with regard to legality, compliance and expediency.
These audits are carried out on the basis of an annual risk-weighted audit plan. Group Internal Audit therefore carries out a risk analysis of the areas to be audited and then draws up an annual audit plan. Apart from these scheduled audits, other audits are carried out as needed. Each audit is recorded in a written audit report. This contains necessary measures and actions for improvement, which are checked for implementation by Group Internal Audit in a so-called ‘Follow-up’, and which are reported to senior management.
Within the Group Internal Audit function, on the one hand, audits are exercised in both the domestic and foreign subsidiaries and, on the other hand, local audit units in the subsidiaries are steered and supported. For this purpose, specific reporting lines as well as processes and tools have been implemented group-wide.
The division Group Internal Audit operates according to national and international standards for Internal Audit. An independent external quality assessment showed the general compliance with international standards for internal audit of the Institute of Internal Auditors. Irrespective of this fact, the work of Group Internal Audit is subject to regular evaluations of supervisory authorities and the auditor.