Einlagensicherung AUSTRIA (ESA) is the so-called "uniform" protection scheme. It is responsible for deposit protection and investor compensation for the Austrian credit institutions affiliated to it.
Every credit institution with its registered office in Austria that takes deposits from customers is required to be a member of ESA. The only exceptions to this mandatory membership of ESA are the credit institutions of the Austrian savings bank group and the Austrian Raiffeisen group, which each have their own protection schemes - s-Haftungs GmbH (savings banks), Österreichische Raiffeisen-Sicherungseinrichtung eGen (Raiffeisen).
If a credit institution does not belong to any of these three guarantee schemes, its licence to take deposits expires. The Financial Market Authority (FMA) provides information on the current existence of a licence and its content on its website.
The ownership structure of a credit institution is irrelevant for deposit protection; all that matters is that the credit institution has an Austrian licence.
Deposit insurance and investor compensation in Austria are regulated in the Federal Act on Deposit Insurance and Investor Compensation in Credit Institutions (Deposit Insurance and Investor Compensation Act - ESAEG). These provisions are the transposition of corresponding EU directives into national law.
Prerequisite for compensation: a "protection case" arises
As a deposit guarantee scheme, ESA compensates depositors if the depositors can no longer access their credit balances at a credit institution. This is the case if the FMA suspends a credit institution's business operations, or if a court opens bankruptcy proceedings against a credit institution or orders business supervision.
Frequently asked questions (FAQ)
- Which deposits are covered by the deposit guarantee scheme?
As a general rule, all balances on interest-bearing or non-interest-bearing accounts or savings books (e.g. salary and pension accounts, other current accounts, time deposits, capital savings books or savings books payable on demand) are covered up to € 100,000 per person.
- What are temporary high balances (THB)?
In some circumstances, you can apply to ESA for a refund of your balance in excess of the general limit of € 100,000, up to a total of € 500,000.
To do this, you must prove to us in your written application that this credit balance has accrued within the last 12 months prior to the arising of the protection case and either
- originates from real estate transactions in connection with privately used residential real estate, or
- fulfils social purposes provided for by law and is linked to specific life events of yours, such as marriage, divorce, retirement, dismissal, redundancy, invalidity or death, or
- is based on the payment of insurance benefits or compensation for criminal injuries or wrongful conviction.
- Are deposits in a joint account secured?
A joint account is not in the name of one depositor, but in the name of several. The principle that up to € 100,000 per credit institution and per person are secured, regardless of the number of accounts or savings books, also applies here. Provided that all account holders are therefore legitimated, the maximum payout amount of € 100,000 (multiple payout) applies to each account holder.
The credit balance on the joint account is to be distributed equally among the account holders. So, for example, if there is a balance of € 200,000 on a joint account with two account holders, the two account holders can each claim an amount of € 100,000 in the event of a payout-case. However, prior to the occurrence of a payout-case, the account holders may submit to the bank a written agreement on the division of the credit balance on the joint account in the event of a payout-case, thus deviating from the principle of division in equal parts. This distribution key is then to be used exclusively in the payout-case and has no effect on regular disposition agreed with the bank.
The same applies mutatis mutandis to joint savings books. In this case, it must also be taken into account that savings books must be presented before the guaranteed amount is paid out and any agreed password must be provided.
- Are securities protected by the deposit guarantee?
Securities are generally not protected. The bank holds your securities in a custody account for you, but the securities remain your property. In the event of the bank's insolvency, you can therefore have your securities transferred to a custody account at another bank.
However, you may be entitled to compensation from securities transactions if the bank, in breach of its duties, is unable to return securities owned by you and held in safe custody on your behalf. In such a case, ESA guarantees up to € 20,000 (90% in the case of legal entities, but not more than € 20,000; see also Investor compensation).
Balances on a clearing account associated with your custody account are covered by the deposit guarantee and are taken into account when calculating the maximum amount of € 100,000.
- Who is covered by the statutory deposit guarantee?
Deposits of private individuals as well as partnerships (OG, KG, Gmbh & Co KG, GesBR), capital companies (GmbH, AG), communities of owners according to WEG 2002 and registered associations according to VerG 2002 are protected. Deposits of credit institutions and institutional investors, such as financial service providers, insurance companies and deposits of the public sector are not protected.
- Are only deposits of Austrian citizens covered?
No, the citizenship of the depositor is irrelevant. Therefore, the deposits of persons who are not Austrian citizens are also protected.
- My covered deposits amount to a maximum of € 100,000?
ESA generally pays out covered deposits within the statutory period of 7 working days. A formal request from you is not required, but you must provide us with the IBAN of the account to which you want us to pay your compensation.
This deadline may be made longer, for example, if
- your claim for reimbursement against the ESA is disputed;
- your deposit is the subject of litigation;
- your balance is the subject of a trusteeship.
For details on these exceptions, kindly refer to § 14 para. 2 ESAEG.
- My covered deposits amount to more than € 100,000?
If your deposit is a temporary high balance within the meaning of § 12 ESAEG (see "What are temporary high balances?" above), you must
- submit a written application for repayment to ESA within 12 months of the arising of the payout case;
- prove to ESA that all the requirements of § 12 ESAEG have been met.
Payment will be made after ESA has verified your claim.
In a payout case, you can download a corresponding application form on our website.
- Can my credit institution withdraw from ESA or change to another deposit guarantee scheme?
A credit institution may only withdraw from ESA if it joins another Austrian or European guarantee scheme at the same time. With this accession, the other deposit guarantee scheme is then competent for the coverage of the deposits.
If a credit institution leaves ESA without joining another deposit guarantee scheme, its licence to take new deposits expires. Existing deposits with the credit institution involved remain secured by ESA, even if the supervisory authority withdraws the licence of the credit institution.
- Are there other protection schemes in Austria?
Besides ESA, credit institutions of the Austrian savings bank group and the Austrian Raiffeisen group each have their own protection schemes. Please find the contact data of s-Haftungs GmbH (savings banks) and Österreichische Raiffeisen-Sicherungseinrichtung eGen (Raiffeisen) on our links page.
- Can my bank be member of a foreign protection scheme?
If a credit institution with its registered office in one of the EU member states operates a branch in Austria and takes deposits, these deposits are covered by the guarantee scheme in the country where the credit institution has its registered office (example: BNP Paribas is a French bank and operates in Austria through a branch - the competent guarantee scheme is the French Fonds de Garantie des Dépôts et de Résolution).
The same rules apply throughout the EU, which means that deposit guarantee schemes offer the same protection in all EU Member States. Within the euro area, your money is always protected up to €100,000 per person per bank. In non-euro countries within the EU, as well as in Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway, the € 100,000 can be converted into the local currency. In this case, small deviations may occur due to exchange rate fluctuations. The details of how payouts are made by the deposit guarantee scheme may also vary from country to country.