History of Bank Pekao - Bank Pekao S.A.

About the history of Bank Pekao

Financial needs of the emigration of the 1920s, World War II, cold war, low stability, fledgling capitalism, free Poland, modern banking. Bank Pekao SA as the first bank launched an ATM in Poland, issued the first credit card, launched a brokerage house, applied biometrics in banking in practice. This is the brief summary of the fascinating history of Bank Pekao, which is also the history of Polish banking.

Completion of the process of acquisition of Bank Pekao S.A. shares. Change of the Bank's logo

On 7 June 2017, the process of acquiring Bank Pekao S.A. shares by Powszechny Zakład Ubezpieczeń (20%) and the Polish Development Fund (12.8%) was completed. Along with the change in the shareholding structure, the Bank's logo has changed.


Innovation and mobility: Pekao 24 for tablets and world premiere of PeoPay on Windows 10 Mobile

In line with the innovation strategy, promoted throughout 2015, Bank Pekao provided its clients with a new quality of banking with the "Pekao24 for tablets" application. In March, global and Polish media reported the international debut of PeoPay contactless payments on Windows 10 Mobile.



Bank Pekao was the first in Poland to propose a comprehensive payment and acceptance system for mobile payments - PeoPay thereby setting a new market standard in mobile payments.


Sponsoring UEFA EURO 2012 and refreshing the image

Bank Pekao became the Official Bank and National Sponsor of UEFA EURO 2012. Sponsoring this largest sports event in the history of Poland has also become an opportunity for the Bank to refresh its image.


Merger of Bank Pekao and BPH

The merger of Bank Pekao and the separated part of Bank BPH was a complex operation of a scale and scope not previously encountered in Polish banking. As a result, a new Bank Pekao was created - a large, strong institution and new quality on the banking market.

Joining the UniCredit Group

On 3 August, 1999, Pekao SA became a member of the international banking group UniCredit.


The Bank's debut on the WSE was successful: PLN 55 per share, ie more than 22% more than the issue price and 28.5% more than the discount price at which individual investors purchased the shares.


Free market, expansion and the bison

The return to the market economy in 1989 was the beginning of the universal bank's development strategy with the offer of retail, corporate and investment banking. The 1990s saw also the launch of the first brokerage office in Poland, offering payment cards, Eurokonto to clients and choosing a bison for the logo of the newly created Pekao Group.

Accounts, foreign currencies, "Pewex"

The 1960s, 70s and 80s in the history of Pekao was the time of popularity of foreign currency accounts, the launch of PEWEX, but also the first IT systems and the Bank's advertisements published in the press, broadcast on the radio, shown in cinemas.

"Internal exports" and Pekao parcels

After the war, Bank Pekao closure was considered. However, the government decided that it was worth trying to obtain foreign currency from Polish communities abroad and so Bank Pekao was entrusted with tasks related to the so-called "internal exports". The so-called Pekao parcels were launched.


Immediately after the liberation, the Warsaw employees of Pekao began activities aimed at reactivating the business. They tried to recover the documentation located under the rubble of the headquarters, they made the first contacts with foreign branches.

So, the war…

Military operations forced the transfer of the Bank's headquarters to France. The fundamental tasks of the French headquarters were to prevent the Germans from collecting money from the Bank's foreign accounts.

Paris, Buenos Aires, Tel Aviv, New York

From 1929 to September 1939, 25 Bank Pekao offices were established in France, Argentina, the United States and Palestine. Bank Pekao planned to launch branches in other countries, for example in Brazil, but the outbreak of the war blighted the chance for further development.

It started with the savings of emigrants

On 17 March, 1929, pursuant to the decision of the Ministry of the Treasury, Bank Polska Kasa Opieki Spółka Akcyjna was established with share capital worth PLN 2.5 million. Henryk Gruber became the CEO, and Emil Modrycki became the first director.