Press Release

DBRS Morningstar Confirms UniCredit Bank Austria AG’s Issuer Ratings at BBB (high)/R-1 (low); Stable Trend

Banking Organizations
December 09, 2022

DBRS Ratings GmbH (DBRS Morningstar) confirmed the ratings for UniCredit Bank Austria AG (UniCredit Bank Austria, or the Bank), including Issuer Ratings at BBB (high) / R-1 (low). DBRS Morningstar also confirmed the ratings at BBB (high) / R-1 (low) for Long-Term and Short-Term Debt and Deposits. The trend on all ratings is Stable. UniCredit Bank Austria’s Intrinsic Assessment is BBB (high) and its Support Assessment is SA3. For a complete list of ratings, please see the table at the end of this press release.


The IA at BBB (high) takes into consideration the Bank’s strong position in the Austrian market and its ownership by the UniCredit Group, its modest profitability levels and a moderate level of non-performing loans (NPLs). In addition, in our view, the Bank has an adequate funding and liquidity profile and a sizable cushion over minimum capital requirements. With the SA3 support assessment, DBRS Morningstar does not expect systemic support for UniCredit Bank Austria.

UniCredit Bank Austria benefits from being part of UniCredit Group, and therefore our view is that internal support from the Group may be forthcoming if needed.


An upgrade of the IA would require an improvement in the Bank’s profitability, while maintaining solid balance sheet metrics. Given UniCredit Bank Austria‘s ownership by the UniCredit Group, positive credit developments at UniCredit Group would likely have positive rating implications for UniCredit Bank Austria.

A downgrade of the IA would likely result from a significant deterioration in the Bank’s asset quality and profitability. Negative implications for the ratings of UniCredit Bank Austria would likely result from negative credit developments at the parent.


Franchise Combined Building Block (BB) Assessment: Good / Moderate

UniCredit Bank Austria is a leading retail and commercial banking organisation in Austria with a market share of around 13% for loans and deposits. It is also part of the UniCredit Group since 2005. UniCredit Bank Austria is mostly focused on transactions with Austrian clients in the domestic market. Before UniCredit Group’s reorganisation in 2016, UniCredit Bank Austria was also responsible for UniCredit’s subsidiaries in CEE. However, these activities were transferred to UniCredit SpA through a spin-off in October 2016. As of end-June 2022, UniCredit Bank Austria had 107 retail branches in Austria and 4,474 employees.

With EUR 123 billion in total assets as of H1 2022, Austria is the main market of UniCredit’s Central Europe division, representing around 13% of UniCredit SpA’s total assets at YE 2021. The Bank is well integrated within UniCredit Group which has a 99.996% interest in UniCredit Bank Austria.

As from 1 January 2022, UniCredit Bank Austria’s business model consists of three main business segments: Retail, Wealth Management & Private Banking and Corporates. The former divisions Unternehmerbank and Corporate & Investment Banking (CIB) were successfully merged to form the new Corporate division. In line with the strategic plan for 2022-2024 set out by UniCredit Group, UniCredit Bank Austria is expected to streamline its organization, improve efficiency and invest in digitalisation.

Earnings Combined Building Block (BB) Assessment: Moderate / Weak

In DBRS Morningstar’s view, the Bank has modest profitability levels. Net interest income represents the main source of income, contributing to around 54% of the total operating income, while fees and commissions accounted for around 41% of the total in H1 2022. Cost of risk has historically been moderate while efficiency levels are modest, particularly for the retail segment. In terms of divisions, the Corporate business (including Unternehmerbank and CIB) remained the main contributor to Bank’s operating income and profits.

In H1 2022, the Bank reported a net profit of EUR 286 million, up by 31% YoY driven by higher net interest income on the back of a more favourable rate environment as well as higher fees mainly from the payments business. This offset the lower contribution from trading income which was boosted by some one-off items in 2021. In addition, operating costs were down in H1 2022 by 4% YoY due to ongoing cost management initiatives.

Risk Combined Building Block (BB) Assessment: Good / Moderate

In general, UniCredit Bank Austria’s follows UniCredit Group’s standards. It works closely with the risk control and risk management units of UniCredit Group. Risk appetite is approved by the Supervisory Board and takes place in coordination with UniCredit Group.

The Bank’s balance sheet is mostly composed of loans to corporates, as well as investments in debt securities, the bulk of which were classified at fair value through other comprehensive income. The stock of NPLs was largely stable in H1 2022 at around EUR 2.0 billion. The H1 2022 gross NPL ratio was stable at 3.0% while the coverage ratio was reported at 47.1% from 48.4% at YE 2021.

The impact from the pandemic has not resulted in a material increase in new NPL inflows, although in 2021 we noted a significant increase in Stage 2 loans, where risk has increased significantly since initial recognition. For the medium term, risks to UniCredit Bank Austria’s asset quality stem from the weakening of the macroeconomic environment, as a result of the persistent inflationary pressures, rising interest rates and energy costs, as well as from the risk of overheating of the Austrian real estate market.

Funding and Liquidity Combined Building Block (BB) Assessment: Strong / Good

In our view, the Bank has an adequate funding and liquidity position. The funding profile is based on a solid customer deposit base and solid covered bond platform, as well as ECB funding. Senior unsecured bonds are typically issued at the level of UniCredit SpA which is also the single point of entry for the Group as far as the resolution regime is concerned.

Exposure to ECB funding increased by EUR 1.55 billion in 2021 to EUR 16.95 billion through the TLTRO III program. In addition, the Bank placed an Additional Tier 1 issue with UniCredit SpA for a total consideration of EUR 0.6 billion. This was part of the strategy to strengthen UniCredit Bank Austria’s capital, as well as to comply with the Group’s internal MREL requirements. NSFR and LCR ratios were well above the minimum requirements at 128% at 171%, respectively, in 2021.

Capitalisation Combined Building Block (BB) Assessment: Good / Moderate

The Bank maintains a solid capital position. Capital ratios increased in H1 2022 with UniCredit Bank Austria reporting its CET1 and total capital ratio at 18.8% and 22.7% respectively, up from 16.8% and 20.5% at YE 2021. This reflected the reduction in RWAs by around EUR 3 billion, mainly due to the removal of the add-on, which was previously introduced following the application of the new IRB-PD models in the Q3 2021.

Alongside the minimum capital requirement of 8%, UniCredit Bank Austria is subject to a capital conservation buffer of 2.5%. This is constituted of Common Equity Tier 1 capital, a 0.5% systemic risk buffer, and a 0.5% other systemically important institutions buffer. The countercyclical capital buffer for material Austrian credit exposures is at 0%. UniCredit Bank Austria is also required to maintain a 1.75% institution-specific Pillar 2 buffer.

Further details on the Scorecard Indicators and Building Block Assessments can be found at


There were no Environmental, Social or Governance factors that had a significant or relevant effect on the credit analysis.

A description of how DBRS Morningstar considers ESG factors within the DBRS Morningstar analytical framework can be found in the DBRS Morningstar Criteria: Approach to Environmental, Social, and Governance Risk Factors in Credit Ratings at (17 May 2022).

All figures are in EUR unless otherwise noted.

The principal methodology is the Global Methodology for Rating Banks and Banking Organisations (23 June 2022). In addition, DBRS Morningstar uses the DBRS Morningstar Criteria: Approach to Environmental, Social, and Governance Risk Factors in Credit Ratings (17 May 2022).

The sources of information used for this rating include Morningstar Inc. and Company Documents, UniCredit Bank Austria Annual Reports (2016-2021), UniCredit Bank Austria (Fixed Income presentation, August 2022). DBRS Morningstar considers the information available to it for the purposes of providing this rating to be of satisfactory quality.

With respect to FCA and ESMA regulations in the United Kingdom and European Union, respectively, this is an unsolicited credit rating. This credit rating was not initiated at the request of the issuer.

With Rated Entity or Related Third-Party Participation: YES
With Access to Internal Documents: NO
With Access to Management: NO

DBRS Morningstar does not audit the information it receives in connection with the rating process, and it does not and cannot independently verify that information in every instance.

The conditions that lead to the assignment of a Negative or Positive trend are generally resolved within a 12-month period. DBRS Morningstar's outlooks and ratings are under regular surveillance.

For further information on DBRS Morningstar historical default rates published by the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) in a central repository, see: DBRS Morningstar understands further information on DBRS Morningstar historical default rates may be published by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) on its webpage:

The sensitivity analysis of the relevant key rating assumptions can be found at:

This rating is endorsed by DBRS Ratings Limited for use in the United Kingdom.

Lead Analyst: Nicola De Caro, Senior Vice President - Global FIG
Rating Committee Chair: William Schwartz, Senior Vice President - Credit Practices Group
Initial Rating Date: July 21, 2022
Last Rating Date: July 21, 2022

DBRS Ratings GmbH
Neue Mainzer Straße 75
Tel. +49 (69) 8088 3500
60311 Frankfurt am Main Deutschland
Geschäftsführer: Detlef Scholz
Amtsgericht Frankfurt am Main, HRB 110259

For more information on this credit or on this industry, visit