History of BTV

BTV has had its roots in Tyrol and Vorarlberg since 1904. On its 100-year anniversary it opened its first branch office outside Austria, in Staad am Bodensee in Switzerland. Today BTV has branches in Germany, Switzerland and Vienna. Since 2011 it has been operating as the BTV VIER LÄNDER BANK. 

Key decisions

  • 1904: The traders Hans Sonvico and Ferdinand Brettauer founded BTV on 8 April 1904.

  • 1952: BTV, Oberbank, BKS Bank and Creditanstalt signed a syndicate agreement, thus laying the foundations for the 3 Banken Gruppe. And for BTV's independence and autonomy.

  • 1986: BTV decided to go down the path of being listed on the stock exchange, and opened up its ownership structure.

  • 2004: In order to provide the best possible support for growing cross-border economic relations, BTV decided to set up branches just over the border, in neighbouring countries.

  • 2011: With its new brand name BTV VIER LÄNDER BANK, the bank is highlighting its successful, long-term commitment in all four countries.

In April 1904, the imperially and royally appointed Allgemeine Verkehrsbank in Vienna received approval to set up a stock corporation from the Austrian interior ministry, the Bank für Tirol und Vorarlberg was born. After receiving approval, it bought the two banking houses "Payr & Sonvico" in Innsbruck and "Ludwig Brettauer sel. Erben" in Bregenz. On 16 August 1904, the BTV opened its head office in Innsbruck, and on 1 September 1904 it opened a branch in Bregenz. The former heads of the companies Hans Sonvico and Ferdinand Brettauer then took on control of this new company as its directors. The bank was entered into the commercial register on 18 August 1904.

Trust in our own strengths

In the years that followed, BTV rapidly grew into a medium-sized regional bank: branches in South Tyrol, North Tyrol and Vorarlberg followed, until the secession of South Tyrol at the end of the First World War and consequently the loss of the three branches located there. The economic crises and the age of hyper-inflation, along with a change in currency (Krone to Schilling) at the beginning and in the middle of the 1920s were unable to harm BTV; the bank also survived the Second World War, which nonetheless brought considerable destruction to Bregenz and Innsbruck.

Steady growth

The reconstruction years, including the economic miracles of the 1950s and 60s, were golden times for Tyrol and Vorarlberg, but were rapidly overtaken by the oil crisis and associated instability in the global economy in the 1970s. BTV built up a strong branch network in these two decades: in total it opened 24 branches. BTV found itself on a strong path to growth - the leap from local to regional large bank was complete. This was confirmed in 1986 by BTV's flotation on the Vienna stock exchange. The bank was further strengthened by the cooperation within the 3 Banken Gruppe. The three banks set up their own subsidiaries, such as the 3 Banken insurance service (nowadays the 3 Banken Versicherungsmakler).

Regional expansion

In 1989 BTV opened its own site in Vienna; the first overseas branch followed in 2004 - its centenary year - in Staad am Bodensee in Switzerland. In 2006 the bank successfully entered the market in Bavaria and Baden-Wuerttemberg: BTV opened branches in Augsburg, Memmingen and Ravensburg/Weingarten as well as - in 2008 - sites in Stuttgart and Munich. BTV has steadily expanded its branch network over the past decades and enhanced its cross-border network. Nevertheless, BTV's roots remain in Tyrol and Vorarlberg. Yet the heart of the BTV VIER LÄNDER BANK also beats passionately in Vienna, Bavaria, Baden-Wuerttemberg, Switzerland and Northern Italy.