For the third year running Bautzen has won the title “Most friendly location in the Oberlausitz for medium sized business”. The annual competition organized by the National Association of Medium sized Businesses (BVMW) honours local councils which have worked particularly closely with medium sized business to develop their economic environment. This year the competition was particularly strongly oriented towards projects in which there was close communication between the companies and the local authorities. The city of Bautzen placed the activity of the Inner City Association at the centre of its submission for the competition, because of its significant contribution towards reviving the city centre.
The finance industry is booming in Bautzen. The opening of the CC Bank in February now brings the number of credit institutes with branches in the city to nine.
Bautzen seems to be a good location for banking. Even though eight financial institutions already had branches or advice centres to look after the money of Bautzen’s citizens, a further finance company has decided to settle in the city. At the beginning of February 2005 the CC Bank opened its new branch at Steinstrasse 8. According to Anke Wolf, spokesperson for the bank: "We do not have many branches in Germany. When we open new branches we follow a very selective course". The CC Bank is a 100% owned subsidiary of the largest Spanish Bank Santander Central Hispano. It already looks after three million customers in Germany. "We are predominantly involved in consumer banking as well as vehicle and consumer goods financing" explained Ms Wolf. The decision to open in Bautzen was taken after analysis of the customer base in Dresden, one of only 55 branches throughout Germany. "Our Dresden Branch looks after about 19,000 customers. On the basis of our records we could see that many of these customers came from the Bautzen area. That means that we didn’t come to Bautzen to wait for customers to arrive. The customers are already here, we’re just coming a step closer to them" said Ms Wolf. Each CC branch is allowed a one year period to show a profit. "Up to now that has always worked and we are sure that it will also work in Bautzen," she added. The already resident banks which the CC Bank will compete with for the Butzener’s hard earned money have reacted calmly to the presence of their new competitor - at least to the outside world. "It is certainly a challenge for us. However, we don’t expect to see any significant effect on our total business" declared Elke Bauch, spokesperson for the Kreissparkasse. With customer deposits of 1.16 milliard Euro, the Sparkasse is the clear leader in the Bautzen area. Bettina Lehmann from the Sparda Bank sees a positive side to the newcomer’s presence. "We welcome the arrival, because with the CC Bank we have a further local partner in our Cash Pool, and that is an advantage for our customers." With the arrival of the CC Bank though, Bautzen is slowly but surely developing into the capital of banking in East Saxony. In the past two years, the business in the city had already received a strong impulse. In addition to the renovation of the Deutsche Bank branch in Postplatz, we have also seen the move of the Sparda Bank to larger premises in Reichenstraße as well as the reopening of the Hypovereinsbank in Kornstraße. And just six months ago the Citibank opened a branch in the city. "Bautzen is a good address and competition is good for business" was the comment of Heike Steglich from the Commerzbank.
Holger Matthies, Sächsische Zeitung .