The Czech National Bank has approved the purchase of Equa bank by Raiffeisenbank. Together with the consent of the Antimonopoly Office, all the basic conditions for carrying out the transaction are now met. This will be followed by the settlement of agreed steps between the shareholders of both banks, the transfer of shares and preparations for the actual legal merger of the two companies, Raiffeisenbank told ČTK.
Since the first announcement of the intention to merge the two banks, Raiffeisenbank has emphasized that it does not plan to change the current conditions for Equa bank’s clients. “Nothing has changed for Equa bank’s clients. We will keep all clients informed about the next steps,” said Raiffeisenbank CEO Igor Vida.
Raiffeisenbank has announced several acquisitions since the beginning of 2021. In addition to the agreement with Equa bank, there is also an exclusive cooperation with ING or the purchase of the payment institution Akcenta.
Thanks to this, Raiffeisenbank will grow in the number of its retail clients and thus become one of the largest banks on the Czech market. Together with Raiffeisen stavební spořitelna, it already has over 1.3 million clients and is strengthening its position on the domestic market. Since the beginning of the year, Raiffeisenbank itself has increased the number of clients from 680,000 to the current 820,000.
Raiffeisenbank has been providing banking services in the Czech Republic since 1993. The majority shareholder is the Austrian financial institution Raiffeisen Bank International. The reason was a coronavirus pandemic. The bank’s assets increased by 17 percent to CZK 446 billion.
Equa bank is one of the smaller banks. It entered the Czech market in 2011 after Equa Group Limited took over Banco Popolare ČR. Equa Group has so far owned funds managed by the British company AnaCap Financial Partners LLP. In 2020, for the same reason, Equa bank’s consolidated net profit fell by 55 percent year-on-year to CZK 182 million.