Hypo Italia presents SME focus

Hypo Alpe Adria Italia has revealed plans to expand.The bank, which is part of Austria’s Hypo Group Alpe Adria (HGAA), announced today (Mon) it wanted to focus on offering services to small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) in northern Italy. Hypo Alpe Adria Italia praised these firms as the “backbone” of the region’s economy. It added the plan was to open several new branches in the area.Hypo Alpe Adria Italia achieved a profit of 3.5 million Euros in 2009. The financial institute has not yet announced business figures for 2010. Hypo Alpe Adria Italia currently manages 28 bank branches in northern Italy.HGAA was nationalised in December 2009 when it emerged that the bank was bracing itself for immense losses due to lax lending policies regarding various projects especially in Croatia and other countries in Southeast Europe.Business crime experts and police in Austria, Croatia and Germany are currently examining who can be made responsible for the near collapse of the bank based in Klagenfurt.HGAA managed fast growth before it was taken over by BayernLB (Bayerische Landesbank) for around 1.7 billion Euros four years ago – a deal which eventually cost the German bank an overall 3.7 billion Euros.Ex-HGAA CEO Wolfgang Kulterer is currently in court in Klagenfurt over fraud and embezzlement allegations.