BAWAG P.S.K. Sucks Customer Reviews and Feedback
BAWAG P.S.K. (German: Bank für Arbeit und Wirtschaft und Österreichische Postsparkasse Aktiengesellschaft) is the fourth largest bank in Austria. It was formed on October 1, 2005 by the merger of the separate banks P.S.K. and BAWAG.
The following piece published by REUTERS reported how Austria's BAWAG bankers faced court ruling back in July 2008:
VIENNA, July 4 (Reuters) - A Viennese court is due to announce on Friday its verdict on nine men accused of having gambled away the Austrian trade unions’ bank BAWAG P.S.K. with a series of risky derivative trades since the late 1990s. Former BAWAG Chief Executive Helmut Elsner, hedge fund manager Wolfgang Floettl and others will be judged on their role in notching up 1.4 billion euros ($2.2 billion) of losses in a scandal that shook the Alpine political and banking scene. When the losses and the alleged false accounting used to cover them were unveiled in 2006, they triggered a run on BAWAG which only ended after the government brokered a bailout. Austria’s once-wealthy trade union federation, which had founded BAWAG in 1922, had to sell the bank to a U.S. investor. Their president, a popular center-left lawmaker, resigned. Judge Claudia Bandon-Ortner and her three co-judges have heard 104 witnesses in 116 court sessions since proceedings began almost a year ago, and pored over around 250 ring binders of evidence before making their judgments. State prosecutors have charged the nine, which also include the trade unions’ former finance chief and a KPMG auditor, with breach of trust or aiding breach of trust, false accounting, and fraud. Not all of the men are accused of all those charges. “Floettl’s pockets were stuffed with money and he was sent to the casino,” prosecutor Georg Krakow said in his final plea last week in which he asked for a guilty verdict for all, which could mean up to 10 years in prison. “He came back, his pockets turned inside out and said: ‘I’ve lost it all.’ Thereupon, they reached into the treasure chest, stuffed his pockets again, and sent him back to the casino.” Over the course of the trial, faced with witness accounts and accounting experts’ opinions heard by the court, three have pleaded guilty for minor parts of the accusations. But their general line has remained the same: Elsner and the other former BAWAG managers say Floettl ignored investment rules and went for riskier products than he was authorized. Floettl says under his deal with BAWAG he was free to invest the money any way he wanted, but warned Elsner about the risk and was told to take it. The other former managers also say Elsner left the board in the dark as well and bullied them into silence when he finally disclosed the losses. None of them blew the whistle. Horrified by the possibility of a bank run if the losses were to become public, the managers backed an accounting scheme that kept them an off-balance sheet and wrote them down over the years. It was only when U.S. investigators sifting through the accounts of collapsed futures trader Refco Inc unveiled suspicious BAWAG accounts that the secret came to light. (Reporting by Boris Groendahl; Editing by Sue Thomas)
Current Employee - Anonymous Employee says"It’s an Austrian bank with poor culture and lack of international appeal Everything is in German (systems, documentation, emails) Colleagues in Vienna are unfriendly and don’t like to be challenged at all Travelling to Vienna is annoying Poor benefits in the UK"
Former Employee - Consultant says"Rigid systems, bad management, grinding job."