History of the Company

Intesa Sanpaolo was founded on 1 January 2007 from the merger of Banca Intesa and Sanpaolo IMI.
The result of the gradual incorporation of some two hundred institutions, the Bank has successfully preserved the different local cultures and traditions, whilst encouraging a process of strengthening the new Group identity on a national and international level.

The historical origins of the two groups:

  • Sanpaolo originated in Turin in 1563 when the Confraternity of St. Paul laid down the foundations for the pawn agency (Monte di Pietà) which undertook to grant low-interest loans to the poor to provide them with an alternative to usury. It became a true bank in the 19th century. In 1950 it took on the name Istituto Bancario San Paolo di Torino. In 1998 San Paolo joined forces with IMI (Istituto Mobiliare Italiano), a public body set up in 1931 as financial support to the industrial system at national level.
  • Banca Intesa was the result of a merger between three historic groups, leaders in the Italian banking system since the 19th century: Cassa di Risparmio di Milano, then Cassa di Risparmio delle Provincie Lombarde, was founded in Milan in 1823 by the Commissione Centrale di Beneficenza and, over the years, knew well how to combine social and financial commitment in Lombardy, the region where it operated. In 1991, at the same time as the incorporation of already controlled Istituto Bancario Italiano, it was conferred to a new company, Cariplo SpA. Banco Ambrosiano Veneto came into being in 1989 through the merger of Nuovo Banco Ambrosiano and Banca Cattolica del Veneto, primarily operative in the north of Italy, soon underwent a process of transformation that led it to operate across the whole of Italy through the acquisition of several southern banks.  Banca Commerciale Italiana was founded in 1894 by a pool of German, Austrian and Swiss banks and was initially managed according to the ‘mixed bank’ model, which was popular in Germany. After it was taken over by IRI (Institute for Industrial Reconstruction) in 1933, it became an ordinary credit institution and was designated a “Bank of National Interest”. A leading player of the Italian banking system, it was also the one which had the largest presence abroad.

Intesa Sanpaolo continued on its consolidation course and, in February 2008, strengthened its presence across the territory with the arrival of Banca CR Firenze and its subsidiaries: the Casse di Risparmio di Civitavecchia, Orvieto, Pistoia e Pescia e della Spezia.

Since 2007, Intesa Sanpaolo has been engaged in an on-going plan of market and opinion surveys aimed at monitoring the Bank’s image and analysing its brand equity positioning, with the support of renown research institutes such as GFK Eurisko, ISPO Ricerche and Millward Brown.
Over time, these surveys have allowed us to strengthen the Intesa Sanpaolo brand and track the evolution of its institutional characteristics. Today, Intesa Sanpaolo holds a 50% share and is a leader among Italian banks for its spontaneous brand awareness, and it holds first position in the brand equity rating for its visibility, image content and appeal (source GFK Eurisko, Multifintrack, 2nd
half 2009).