Founded in 1916, Piraeus Bank operated as a private credit institution for many decades, while for the period 1975-1991 it went through state ownership and management before it was privatized in December 1991. Since then, it has rapidly grown in size and activities.
Today following the acquisitions of the “good” ATEbank and Geniki Bank, the banking operations in Greece of Bank of Cyprus, Cyprus Popular Bank and Hellenic Bank and the acquisition of Millennium Bank Greece, the combined total assets of the Group amounted to €95bn, net loans €63 bn and customer deposits €55bn (data 30/06/13). As of June 30 2013, the Group employs 24,743 people, while the entire branch network numbers 1,718 units, with a presence in 10 countries including Greece. Piraeus Bank is today the leading Bank in Greece with 30% market share in terms of loans and 29 % in terms of deposits.
Along with its organic growth during the decades of 1990 and 2000, Piraeus Bank made a series of strategic moves aiming to establish a strong presence in the domestic market. Thus, in 1998, the Bank absorbed the activities of Chase Manhattan in Greece, took over controlling interest in Macedonia-Thrace Bank and acquired the specialised bank Credit Lyonnais Hellas. At the beginning of 1999, the Bank acquired Xiosbank and absorbed the activities of National Westminster Bank Plc in Greece. In June 2000, Piraeus Bank absorbed its two commercial banks in Greece (Macedonia-Thrace Bank and Xiosbank).
In 2002, Piraeus Bank acquired the Hellenic Industrial Development Bank (ETBAbank) which was absorbed in December 2003. Also, at the beginning of 2002, a strategic alliance agreement for the Greek market was signed between Piraeus Bank Group and ING Group, focused in the field of bancassurance, which was renewed for 10 more years in October 2007. In July 2009, Piraeus Bank and BNP Wealth Management agreed to a strategic partnership in Wealth Management. In October 2009, Piraeus Bank and ERGO General Insurance Company S.A. - subsidiary of Ergo International in Greece and member of the German insurance Group Munich Re - commenced a 10-year exclusive cooperation in the general insurance field.
In 2005, Piraeus Bank Group, implementing its strategy for expansion in Southeastern Europe and Eastern Mediterranean markets, acquired the Bulgarian Eurobank (renamed into Piraeus Βank Bulgaria), strengthening its 12 year presence in Bulgaria, while the merger of Piraeus Bank branches in Bulgaria with Eurobank was completed in March 2006. Furthermore, in 2005, it entered the Serbian market by acquiring Atlas Bank (renamed into Piraeus Bank Beograd), and into the Egyptian market by acquiring Egyptian Commercial Bank (renamed into Piraeus Bank Egypt). Finally, in 2007, Piraeus Group expanded its international presence in Ukraine by acquiring the International Commerce Bank (renamed into Piraeus Bank ICB) and in Cyprus by establishing Piraeus Bank Cyprus through the acquisition of the Arab Bank Cypriot network.
At the end of July 2012, Piraeus Bank acquired the "healthy" part of Agricultural Bank (selected assets and liabilities) gaining a leading position in the banking operations in Greece. Three months later, the Bank signed an agreement with Societe Generale for the acquisition of SocGen’s total stake (99%) in Geniki Bank. In March 2013, Piraeus Bank acquired the Greek banking operations of Bank of Cyprus, Cyprus Popular Bank and Hellenic Bank. In April 2013, Piraeus Bank agreed to acquire Millennium Bank Greece.These transactions comprise important steps towards the restructuring of the Greek banking system, in which Piraeus Bank has participated from the very beginning as a core pillar.
Piraeus Bank leads a group of companies covering all financial and banking activities in the Greek market (universal bank) and possesses particular know-how in the areas of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), agricultural, retail and green banking, leasing, capital markets and investment banking.
These services are offered through the Group’s nation-wide network of c.1,300 branches and c.2,400 ATMs, and also through the electronic banking network of winbank. The latter was launched in the beginning of 2000, as the first complete electronic banking service in Greece and since then it has incorporated most of Group’s international bank subsidiaries offering a unique e-banking experience.
Piraeus Bank Group, at the end of March 2013 had an international presence consisting of 444 branches focused in Southeastern Europe and Eastern Mediterranean. In particular the Group operates in Romania through 161 branches, in Bulgaria through Piraeus Bank Bulgaria with 83 branches, in Albania through Tirana Bank with 56 branches, in Serbia with 42 branches of Piraeus Bank Beograd, in Ukraine with 38 branches of Piraeus Bank ICB, in Cyprus with 14 branches of Piraeus Bank Cyprus, in Egypt with 42 branches of Piraeus Bank Egypt, in London with a branch of Piraeus Bank and in Frankfurt with a branch resulting from the acquisition of ATEbank.
The main midterm objectives of Piraeus Group's policy are: to safeguard liquidity, capital adequacy, asset quality, achieve high efficiency by containing operating costs, and to smoothly integrate the recently acquired banking activities in Greece, thus achieving significant synergies. Piraeus Bank will continue to focus on SMEs, the agricultural sector and retail banking segments, where it holds strong expertise.
Piraeus Bank Group, combining business development and social responsibility, endorses systematically its relations with its social partners through specific actions, while special emphasis is placed on the protection of the natural environment and preservation of cultural heritage. Piraeus Bank acknowledges that energy sources are not inexhaustible and should be used in a responsible manner. The Bank's contribution to the protection of the environment has two dimensions. The internal dimension, which refers to the Bank's efforts to mitigate its operational environmental impacts, and the external dimension which reflects the Bank's efforts to increase environmental awareness of its customers, and to promote environmentally friendly investments. Piraeus Bank has built significant expertise and market share in the field of Green Banking with dedicated branches and products, addressing both business and individual needs. At the same time, the Piraeus Bank Group Cultural Foundation carries out culture-related activities, which are part of the Piraeus Bank Group's corporate social responsibility and operates a series of thematic museums in Greece, which is constantly growing and has the ability to convey to the Greek rural regions cultural activities of high standards with effective and efficient manner.
As one of the systemic banks in Greece, Piraeus Bank takes initiatives that support sound business plans and the evolution of the Greek economy into a new model of sustainable development.