ROME, Oct. 27, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Not just a bank, but an Italian institution, "perhaps one of the most important" in the country. This is the role that Intesa Sanpaolo aims to play. Following the announcement on Wednesday, October 25 in Brescia, the bank has revealed its commitment to allocate €1.5 billion to initiatives and projects aimed at reducing inequalities by 2027 for the benefit of the community. This amount includes funds allocated to the initiatives and the costs associated with the structures supporting these initiatives.
The day in Brescia, under the title 'No One Excluded: Growing Together in a Fairer Country – Intesa Sanpaolo's Commitment,' was organised by Intesa Sanpaolo to address the issue of inequalities in Italy in relation to the poverty reduction programme implemented by the bank. This programme is the largest of its kind by a private entity in Italy. During the event, representatives from national and European institutions, non-profit organisations, and entrepreneurs discussed topics such as reducing inequalities, youth employment and education, demographic issues, and the contribution of the third sector to the country's growth. The CEO of the Group, Carlo Messina, explained that the bank will establish a new organisational unit dedicated exclusively to these activities, called 'Intesa Sanpaolo per il Sociale' (Intesa Sanpaolo for Social Initiatives), headquartered in the city of Brescia, with functions related to the direction and governance of social activities carried out by the Group.
"For us, it is important to go beyond mere statements of principle and translate our values into a daily and credible commitment resulting from a precise strategy, company policies, actions, and customs that are sensitive to the needs of territories and communities. That's why we are creating a new organisational unit, ‘Intesa Sanpaolo per il Sociale’, exclusively dedicated to this activity, with its headquarters in Brescia, which I will personally oversee," noted Messina.
Pope Francis also addressed the bank through a letter to the CEO, read by Sister Alessandra Smerilli, FMA, Secretary of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, urging them to "continue your objectives to strengthen the process of economic and social inclusion, with particular attention to the most vulnerable, especially migrants, to implement 'demography for sustainability' projects that should involve both young and old." The Pope expressed his hope that the discussions in Brescia would "concretely help design a development model capable of generating new, more inclusive, and sustainable solutions to support the real economy" and aid "communities in achieving their deepest aspirations and the universal common good."
"It is important because a bank, particularly one like ours, which represents €500 billion in loans, a third of the GDP, €1.2 trillion in Italian household wealth, a market share of around 30%, and 13 million customers, cannot be disinterested in what happens in the country. We all have a vision that leads us to have social responsibility, but not just as a slogan; it's an emotion that we feel. Therefore, we believe that, as we generate significant profits, a portion of these profits can be devoted to benefit the community, and that's what we are committing to doing with €1.5 billion over the next five years."
"This is the world's largest project to address inequalities. I believe that it should be a source of pride for this country to have an institution that does this and that has always been involved in this, as in the last five years we have already donated one billion euros. So, this is not just emerging from this phase; there is an acceleration because inflation has a particularly significant impact and absolute inequality on those who are most in need."
"We have a total allocation, including donations and the costs we bear for social causes, that is higher than what is allocated by major foundations like Fondazione Cariplo and Compagnia San Paolo. Being the largest foundation in Italy in terms of impact on the economy, I believe, is a source of immense satisfaction. At the same time, we are also the ones who, through our profits and dividends, feed what foundations provide to families in need. I believe this is a tremendous source of satisfaction, together with the fact that 100,000 people think with a spirit directed towards the common good of communities."
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A video accompanying this announcement is available at: