In 1904, the BTV decided to go its own path with clear values: independence and responsibility toward its customers.
Founded for the development of the region
The story of the BTV begins on 8 April 1904. The Imperial Royal Privileged Allgemeine Verkehrsbank in Vienna obtained from the Austrian Ministry of the Interior the permit to set up a joint-stock company under the name ‘Bank for Tirol and Vorarlberg’. After obtaining the permit, the BTV purchased the two banking houses ‘Payr & Sonvico’ in Innsbruck and ‘Ludwig Brettauer sel. Erben’ in Bregenz. On 16 August 1904, the BTV opened its headquarters in Innsbruck, and on 1 September 1904 a branch in Bregenz. The former company directors, Hans Sonvico and Ferdinand Brettauer, took over from that time as directors of the new company. Entry in the commercial register was made on 18 August 1904.
After that, the BTV financed a number of projects in the region and experienced a strong business expansion in its initial years. Branches in South Tyrol, North Tyrol, and Vorarlberg were opened. The image of the BTV in the population and in economic circles grew from year to year – the BTV had rapidly gained a firm position.
The war years and the Miracle from Inn
After World War I ended, the European borders were redrawn and South Tyrol was given to Italy: Then the BTV had to close its South Tyrol branch in 1922. Austria suffered just like Germany under galloping inflation, which, for the Tyroleans and Vorarlbergians, had fatal effects on the economy. The residents stormed the banks to withdraw their savings. Unlike most of their competitors, the BTV was able to pay their customers their savings immediately and make it through those difficult times. The BTV’s company philosophy – don’t make risky speculations in financial markets – has remained valid and has proven itself.
Cautious business policies made the BTV the only regional joint stock bank to survive the economic crisis, and it came out of the twenties even stronger due to its targeted takeover of local banks. The Austrian press therefore celebrated the BTV as the ‘Miracle from Inn’. After World War II, the gradual stabilisation of the economy created the financial foundations for the reconstruction. By awarding loans to regional companies, the BTV purposefully stimulated the domestic economy, which now experienced its ‘golden’ decade.
Association of the 3 Banken Group
In 1952, the BTV gained new shareholders: the Bank für Oberösterreich und Salzburg and the Bank für Kärnten und Steiermark. Today, the Oberbank AG, the BKS Bank AG, and the BTV make up the 3 Banken Group. It stands for a voluntary association set up according to democratic principles, which more than ever is considered an important partner of the domestic economy and a convincing, highly competitive counter-model to international financial corporations. For each of the three banks, this cooperation is a central building block for their autonomy and independence. The 3 Banken Group covers the entire Austrian federal territory and the bordering nations.
Customers in focus
The branch offices of the BTV were strongly expanded during the 1970s and 1980s. With this step, the BTV successfully implemented their efforts to be ‘near’ to customers and ‘go into the regions’. The personal relationship between customers and employees was and is a central factor of BTV’s success. Since 1986, the BTV has been listed as the only regional bank of Western Austria on the Vienna Stock Exchange. In 1989, the company expanded toward Vienna. In 2004 – the 100th anniversary – followed the first foreign branch office, in Staad am Bodensee in Switzerland. In 2006, market entries were made in Bavaria, Baden-Wuerttemberg, and South Tyrol.
The BTV has done business as the BTV VIER LÄNDER BANK since 2011. With its new brand name, BTV VIER LÄNDER BANK, the BTV lives up to the fact that its commitment is sustainable and successful in all four provinces.
The managing directors Gerhard Burtscher, Mario Pabst, and Dr Markus Perschl hold tight to the BTV’s cornerstones: entrepreneurship, a refreshing conservatism, and full concentration on customers and employees.