The customers of Erste Bank und Sparkassen have donated a total of more than 10 million euros to the charity initiative Nachbar in Not (“Neighbor in Need”) since the beginning of March. The donations are targetted at helping people who have had to flee from the war in Ukraine and require humanitarian aid. Erste Bank und Sparkassen has facilitated the donations by prominently integrating a donation button in its digital banking platform George, displaying payment slips in its branches, and by enabling donations via the self-service machines in the branches.
The fundraising campaign continues. Aid organisations still urgently require donations to be able to continue providing help to Ukrainians in need. All private donations received by NACHBAR IN NOT through April 18 will be matched one-to-one by Austria’s Federal Government.
“We are incredibly grateful to and proud of our customers for making such an important and generous contribution to tackling this humanitarian crisis,” says Gerda Holzinger-Burgstaller, CEO of Erste Bank Oesterreich. “It was immediately clear to us that we had to make our expertise and infrastructure available to ensure that help for Ukraine and its people could be raised in a quick and targetted manner. From the very beginning, our employees – in cooperation with aid organisations – have shown an enornmous willingness and energy in finding simple and practicable ways and means of enabling that support.”
How Erste is helping
Already at the beginning of March, Erste Group, together with its subsidiary banks and ERSTE Foundation, implemented a comprehensive package of measures to provide humanitarian support for Ukraine. In total, more than 3,500,000 euros have been donated by the Erste family for the Ukraine activities of Caritas, the Red Cross and local aid organisations in Central and Eastern Europe.
Apart from making direct financial donations, Erste Group has also made it possible for its customers to make payment transfers to Ukraine-based accounts free of charge (any fees incurred are refunded after the transfer); this offer is intended to facilitate private aid payments and donations. In addition, Erste Group's subsidiary banks are providing Ukrainian refugees access to free accounts in order to facilitate money supply and transfers. The Erste Group banks in Austria and Romania are also offering Ukrainian refugees the opportunity to exchange Ukrainian hryvnias into euros in an immediate and unbureaucratic manner. Moreover, Erste Group, together with Caritas and SOS Children's Villages, operates a day centre for Ukrainian refugees at the Erste Campus, which is located near Vienna's main railway station.