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Freedom to Provide Services and of Establishment in the EEA

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This page describes how banks that have the necessary permission in their Member State may also operate in the European Economic Area, and in what form.

The provision of banking activities on a cross-border basis is primarily set down in Directive 2013/36/EU (“CRD IV”). Access to the activity of credit institutions and the supervision of credit institutions and investment firms are covered in CRD IV. The relevant rules can be found in Articles 33 to 39 CRD IV. The corresponding implementation under national law is contained in Articles 9 to 19 of the Banking Act (BWG – Bankwesengesetz).


The European Banking Authority (EBA) has already drawn up binding Technical Standards on passporting and the supervision of branches.

Credit institutions authorised in an EEA Member State are in principle already authorised on the basis of their authorisation/licence in their Home State to also provide banking operations in other Member States (single licence principle). Cross-border activities may either be conducted through a branch (”freedom of establishment”) or under the freedom to provide services. The intention to conduct banking activities on a cross-border basis either under the right of establishment or the freedom to provide services, must be notified by the credit institution to the respective supervisory authority.


Notification for Austrian credit institutions

Austrian credit institutions must inform the Financial Market Authority of their intended activities in another EEA country. The Austrian Financial Market Authority then informs the competent supervisory authority in the country in which the credit institution intends to conduct activities.


Notification for credit institutions incorporated in other Member States wishing to conduct activities in Austria

Credit institutions incorporated outside of Austria but within the EEA, must notify their home supervisory authority of their intention to conduct activities in Austria. This authority must in turn inform the Financial Market Authority of this intention. Details about the process for doing so can be found in the links below.

Further information: