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Introduction > About us > Fio banka > Company History

History

Fio banka is closely associated with Fio's seven years of successful operations on the Czech market. Details of the establishment and the major milestones in the bank's history are provided below.


The Fio banka story

Fio banka as an exclusively Czech-owned bank is completely different from other banks, most of which have long since been swallowed up by large foreign investors. The bank offers standard banking services without any fees while continuing to bring innovative banking products to market and has shown the ability to achieve a slight profit over the long term. Those are the secrets to Fio, which was established nearly two decades ago by a group of students and graduates from the Mathematics and Physics Department at Charles University.

The group of young math and physics students was fascinated by the world of finance and investment and decided in 1993 to open a company focused on securities trading. They began programming the software they later used to make securities trading simpler and faster and began to offer it to clients over time. Thanks to low costs, risk management and emphasis on long-term stability, Fio became the largest Czech online broker in a few years' time.

Efforts to expand Fio's range of financial services led to the establishment of a credit union. Smooth operations combined with internal development activities and the dynamic environment enjoyed by Fio and other Czech companies led to the roll out of Internetbanking in 1998, as the first online application of its kind among today's financial institutions in the Czech Republic. It was released even before the version released by the then-famous Expandia bank, which was later renamed eBank.

Fio purchased the off-market RM-SYSTÉM stock exchange in 2006; coincidentally, the founders of the company first began trading on this exchange thirteen years earlier. Fio's addition of this off-market exchange helped to revive and then transform the Czech securities market.

The key was the network of RM-SYSTEM branch offices in nearly every district capital city. Overnight, Fio began providing its investment and banking services across the entire Czech Republic.

Slowly becoming a bank...

With subsequent growth, Fio reached the critical mass where the assets under the Fio flag had come to represent a small bank in 2008. The transition to a bank was the logical step forward to simplify operations and to drive a major increase in trustworthiness.

Fio banka received its bank license in 2010. It continues to offer standard banking services for absolutely no fees, is pushing forward with improvements to its network of branches and ATMs, issues its own payment cards and has rolled out Smartbanking for smart phones as the first bank in the Czech Republic. The number of clients continues to climb dramatically, reaching 200,000 at the close of 2012.
How is it possible that Fio banka has provided certain banking services for completely no charge for a number of years? And just how does the bank invest in improving quality, introduce Smartbanking as the first bank and become the Most Dynamic Bank in the Czech Republic as well as the Banking Innovator of the Year? Moreover, how has the bank continuously generated a small profit and how can this strategy of free services remain sustainable?

The secret of Czech-owned Fio banka is as follows:

  • Fio is a Czech bank that is not under any pressure from foreign shareholders, which often seek excessively high profits.
  • The two owners of the bank are also founding members of Fio. They enjoy an intimate relationship with the company and have maintained a strategy of sustainable growth combined with moderate profit generation for nearly 20 years.
  • Fio banka also reaps the benefits of long-term stability in top-level management.
  • Fio banka develops its internal banking system using efficient development methods. These efforts allow the bank to flexibly respond to new trends and quickly innovate its services.
  • Fio banka places exceptional emphasis on low operating costs and maximum use of automation, allowing it to provide standard banking services at absolutely no charge.
  • Fio banka's main source of income is not bank fees; rather it is the difference between interest collected on provided loans and interest paid on deposits.
  • Investment services are another source of income. Fio banka offers its clients online trading on stock exchanges in the Czech Republic, Europe and the USA. The bank itself does not actively trade stocks or other securities on exchanges, meaning that any fluctuations in the market have no impact on the bank's stability. .

 

  • 1993 Fio Financial Group established
  • 1996 Services expanded to include a credit union
  • 1997 Start of online stock trading on the Czech market (e-Broker)
  • 1998 Fio, družstevní záložna launches the first internet banking in the Czech Republic
  • 1999 First online trading of US stocks launched in the Czech Republic
  • 2001 Services expanded to include online trading in Germany
  • 2002 Start of foreign expansion as a securities broker in Slovakia
  • 2003 Entry into Polish market in partnership with a leading Polish brokerage house
  • 2004 Fio, burzovní společnost, a.s. becomes the first Czech member of the German XETRA exchange
  • 2004 Fio, družstevní záložna meets the unified EU conditions for savings and credit unions
  • 2006 Fio, družstevní záložna becomes a member of the inter-bank payment system in the Czech Republic
  • 2006 Entry into Hungarian market along with access for clients to the Budapest Stock Exchange
  • 2006 Purchase of 100% share of the off-market securities exchange RM-SYSTEM, a.s. completed
  • 2008 Start of online trading on the Warsaw Stock Exchange
  • 2008 Fio, sporiteľné družstvo, organizational branch of Fio, družstevní záložna, starts offering banking services in Slovakia
  • 2008 Fio, burzovní společnost, a.s. requests a bank license from the Czech National Bank
  • 2008 RM-SYSTEM becomes the RM-SYSTEM, česká burza cenných papírů a.s. stock exchange
  • 2009 Fio Financial Group takes first prize in the prestigious Zlatý Měšec 2009 competition for the categories of Banks and Credit Unions and Securities Brokers in the Czech Republic
  • 2010 Fio, družstevní záložna defends its first place in the Zlatý Měšec competition in the Banks and Credit Unions category
  • 2010 Fio, burzovní společnost receives a bank license in May and becomes Fio banka.
  • 2010 Fio banka completes the Fio, družstevní záložna bank services integration project in its product portfolio and as of 1.9. it has offered traditional banking products in addition to investment services
  • 2010 Fio banka in September begins providing online loan contracts in various currencies
  • 2010 Fio banka in October is named the best Bank for Entrepreneurs
  • 2011 Fio banka in January launches a service to open bank accounts online2011 Fio banka in February presents new solution for foreign payments and joins the PayMyway (now PayU) system for fast and safe online payments
  • 2011 Fio banka named in February the best bank and securities broker in the Zlatý Měšec survey
  • 2011 Fio banka in March becomes a member of the Czech Banking Association
  • 2011 Fio banka bring the unique Smartbanking application to the market in May
  • 2011 Fio banka excels in June in the Zlatá koruna 2011 competition
  • 2011 Fio banka named Broker of the Year 2011 in May and also takes home a win in the category of "Czech Stocks"
  • 2011 Clients first offered the ability to margin trade on the Warsaw Stock Exchange starting in October
  • 2011 Fio banka named the Most Dynamic Bank of 2011 in November¨
  • 2012 Fio banka named most accommodation bank for 2011 in January and launches a new version of Smartbanking
  • 2012 Fio bank in February defends its first place finish in the Zlatý Měšec 2012 survey, becoming the best financial institution in two categories: Banks & Credit Unions and Securities Brokers.
  • 2012 Fio banka begins issuing its own payment cards in June, including contactless PayPass technology
  • 2012 Fio banka excels in June in the Zlatá koruna 2012 competition Fio banka takes home first place in four categories - Accounts, Business Accounts, Securities Brokers and the Business Award
  • 2012 Fio banka releases a new version of the Smartbanking application in August enabling payment card management
  • 2012 Fio banka wins in October in Hospodářské noviny's Best Bank 2012 awards it the category of Banking Innovator
  • 2012 Fio banka takes 1st place in Fincentrum's Bank of the Year 2012 survey for Account of the Year and Most Dynamic Bank of the Year
  • 2013 Fio banka named the most accommodation bank of the year for 2012 in January, defending its 1st place finish from 2011
  • 2013 Fio banka once again takes home first place in the Zlatý Měšec 2013 survey in the categories of Banks & Credit Unions and Securities Brokers.
  • 2013 Fio banka in February releases the new Smartbroker application offering clients the ability to invest using their smartphones
  • 2013 The Fio API Plus application is rolled out in March providing all clients with automatic data acquisition capability
  • 2013 Fio banka recognized as the best Czech securities broker in April in the Broker of the Year 2013 survey
  • 2013 Fio banka releases the Smartbroker program for tablets and adds QR code capability to Smartbanking in May
  • 2013 Small and medium enterprises select the Fio business account as the second-best financial product in May in voting for the Zlatá koruna 2013 business competition
  • 2013 Fio banka launched automatic payment order support using Fio API Banking in June
  • 2013 Fio banka wins three golds, one silver and two bronze awards in June in the Zlatá koruna 2013 competition. Fio personal account named 'personal account of the year' and Fio business account is named 'business account of the year'.
  • 2013 Fio banka wins in September in Hospodářské noviny's Best Bank 2012 awards it the category of Banking Innovator for contactless paymentcard
  • 2013 In september number of clients of Fio banka exceeded 300.000!
  • 2013 In October Fio banka launched a new mobile website for mobile phones and tablets
  • 2013 In October had made available Fio Smartbanking for smartphones running Windows Phone
  • 2013 In October Fio banka simplified contractual documentation and the framework agreement for a personal account includes 1 sheet of A4 and also launched open a personal account from anywhere using a courier for free
  • 2013 In November Fio Financial Group celebrated 20 years and introduces the ability to choose the number of new personal and business account
  • 2014 From January provides Fio banka American mortgages, which allow clients to finance almost anything
  • 2014 Fio banka became the Friendliest bank for 4.Q 2013 rating OVB Vstřícná banka
  • 2014 Fio Bank became the Friendliest bank for full-year 2013 rating OVB Vstřícná banka
  • 2014 In February introduced Fio banka payment cards VISA
  • 2014 In March Fio banka extended the services of SEPA payments and introduced 9 new world currency.
  • 2014 Fio banka launched new campaign in May, starring Jakub Kohák , warning about foreign banks' absurd fees and showing advantages of Fio banka's products
  • 2014 Fio banka was awarded 10 prizes in Zlatá koruna 2014 competition. 4gold, 3silver and 3bronze in total. First places were taken by Fio current account, Business account , Smartbanking a Business account in Businessmen award
  • 2014 in June introduced guaranteed rates of mortgages, thanks to which clients now in advance which rate they are entitled at
  • 2014 opens its 75th branch office, this time in Prague - Lužiny
  • 2014 incoming and outgoing Europayment become cheaper from August, now it costs 20CZK
  • 2014 in August introduces a third overdraft rate, which is free of charge for the delivery and annual renewal, and allows clients to apply for an overdraft online. Newly, also new client can also apply for overdraft
  • 2014 by the end of August Fio banka has over 400 thousand clients
  • 2014 in September wins title of Banking Inovator 2014 with its free account in 15 currencies in Hospodářské noviny competition Best bank 2014
  • 2014 at the beginning of November Fio banka is awarded by title Nejvstřícnější banka for 2nd quarter of 2014
  • 2014 Fio banka took first place in prestigious review of Fincentrum Bank of the year in Account of the year category. Fio banka was also third in The most dynamic bank and Mortgage of the year categories
  • 2015 Fio banka introduces new generation of Internetbanking in January
  • 2015 in March Fio banka significantly cheapen mortgages, minimal fix rate newly makes 1,99% p.a., without necessity of having any additional services or insurance
  • 2015 Fio banka wins title of Nejvstřícnější banka of the year 2014, fourth in a row
  • 2015 Fio banka was awarded 9 prizes in Zlatá koruna competition. 6 gold and 3 silver in total. First places were taken by Fio current and business account, business loan, aplications Smartbanking and e-Broker. Fio business account has alwo won Businessmen award.
  • 2015 in June Fio banka celebrated 5 years as a bank and reached 500 000 clients
  • 2015 from June Fio banka allows usage of fingerprint for login or authorization thanks to Touch ID function
  • 2015 thanks to new Investment agreement is now possible to ask for margin online

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