Bankrupt people who have proved their financial reliability to a social NGO are given a temporary current account at the Erste Bank, Austria’s largest bank. They do not have an overdraft facility, but they do receive an ATM card and pay almost no bank charges. The aim of the initiative by the Erste Bank is to make it possible for these clients to participate actively in society, to further their sense of personal responsibility and to teach new self-assurance in dealing with money. The scheme began in Vienna and has been extended to Innsbruck, Salzburg, Klagenfurt, Graz and Wiener Neustadt since 2007. More than 400 Erste Bank staff members now provide services in their special fields of competence on a voluntary basis. The number of partner NGOs has increased from two to five and the Vienna local government also cooperates with the project.
Die Zweite Wiener Vereins-Sparcasse
3rd Prize 2007
Fields of action: Poverty
Project owner: Die Zweite Wiener Vereins-Sparkasse
Responsible person: Dr. Evelyn Hayden
The project was awarded third prize by the SozialMarie jury in 2007 for being a “unique social initiative that has been extremely popular with its target group.”