Česká spořitelna’s history dates back to 12 February 1825 when it launched operations as a savings bank under the name Spořitelna Česká.
Savings banks were, at that time, founded on a philanthropic basis with the aim to serve as a kind of social institution that partly operated to substitute public social programmes.
The purpose of savings banks was to support the poorer people with their money management and to educate them in financial literacy. The first savings banks were primarily established in German-speaking countries – Germany and Switzerland – in the second half of the eighteenth century and later the idea of savings banks began to spread to Great Britain and to the Habsburg Empire.
Erste Oesterreichische Spar-Casse, the predecessor of Erste Bank, was founded on 4 October 1819 as the first monetary institution of its kind in the Austrian Empire.
Until 1992, when Česká spořitelna became a joint-stock company, the bank underwent various changes, reflecting political developments in Europe and throughout the world, including consolidation and expansion of the savings banks of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy, legal regulations after the World War I related to the foundation of the independent Czechoslovak Republic, centralization and nationalization after the World War II and Czechoslovakia’s communist era and post-communist era transformation, when all existing financial institutions were transformed into universal commercial banks.
Česká spořitelna’s new era started in 2000 when Austrian Erste Bank became the 52% shareholder of Česká spořitelna, gradually increasing its share over the following two years to 98%. Česká spořitelna thus became an integrated part of the Erste Bank Group.
Česká spořitelna is the oldest and the largest bank on the Czech market with some 5 million clients. Through the Česká spořitelna Foundation, it supports charitable projects in the fields of culture, education, science, public and social affairs, health care, community activities, sports and ecology. Česká spořitelna employs over 10,000 people in all regions across the Czech Republic.