Acronym: BPVi. Founded in 1866, Banca Popolare di Vicenza is among the very first cooperative banks in Italy from a chronological point of view. Deep-rooted in its province of origin, the Bank started to spread in the 1980s, through the opening of branches and the takeover of small cooperative banks in the entire Northeast. The banks that were taken over and incorporated were: Banca Popolare Agricola di Lonigo in 1985, Banca Popolare di Thiene in 1988, Banca Popolare di Sette Comuni- Asiago in 1991, and Banca Popolare di Venezia in 1994. Later on, controlling interests were acquired in other banks, some of which also merged into the bank: Banca Popolare di Casterlfranco Veneto, Banca Popolare di Treviso and Banca Popolare di Trieste in 1996, Banca Popolare della provincia di Belluno in 1997, Banca Popolare C. Piva di Valdobbiadene and Banca Popolare Udinese in 1998. In September 1998, Banca Popolare di Vicenza became part, together with Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria S.A. (BBVA) and Assicurazioni Generali, of BNL’s reference shareholders, by buying out about 8% of it, half of which was sold in 2001. Since 2000, the Bank has started a process of expansion outside the region Veneto. Banca Idea, a multichannel bank that offers banking, financial and insurance services through contact centres, the Internet, financial promoters, and branches, was founded in Milan. In the same year, the ‘Progetto Centro-Sud’ (Project for Central and Southern Italy, TN) was realised through the creation of Banca Nuova in Palermo, a bank operating for now only on the island, in the regions Calabria and Lazio through about thirty branches, and that acquired control of Banca del Popolo in Trapani (founded in 1883) and its forty branches. Banca Nuova operates through the traditional counters, door-to-door services, and the Internet. Lastly, at the beginning of 2001, in the Northwest, branches of Gruppo Banca Intesa were bought out, thus increasing the territorial network of the bank to Genoa, Pavia, Parma, Piacenza, Asti, and Imperia. Abroad, the network is constituted of BPV finance international Ltd in Dublin, and minority shares were bought in banks in Slovenia, the Czech Republic, the Slovak Republic, Hungary, and Croatia. A representative office was opened in Hong Kong, as well as BPV Suisse, a branch ruled by Swiss law operating in private banking, and, in particular, in the management of securities and in financial and general consultancy. At the end of 2002, Cassa di Risparmio di Prato entered in Gruppo BPVi. In 2003, Banca Popolare di Vicenza ranked 19th in the Mediobanca ranking list. In 2005, Prestinuova S.p.A., a company headquartered in Palermo, which provides guaranteed loans against one-fifth of the paycheck, was founded. In 2007, 61 branches of Gruppo UBI Banca in the province of Brescia and Bergamo were taken over by BPVi with the aim of increasing its presence in Lombardy. In the same year, the Bank acquired a share of 38.88% in Farbanca, an institute of Bologna specialised in the offer of banking services in the pharmacy sector. Moreover, it started a strategic partnership with the insurance company Gruppo Cattolica Assicurazioni for the distribution of insurance products through the commercial network of Banca Popolare di Vicenza. In 2010, two important openings of representative offices took place: one in Milan, in Via Turati 12, where the offices of Guardia di Finanza (Italian military corps dealing with customs, excise and tax crimes, TN) are located as well, and one in Rome, in Piazza Venezia. In 2011, instead, representative offices were opened abroad: Sau Paulo in Brazil and New York, in addition to the already existing offices in Shanghai, Hong Kong and New Delhi.
Furthermore, in 2011, the Group assumed a new strategic organisational setup by means of the merger of the already controlled Cassa di Risparmio di Prato and Banca Nuova with the group leader Banca Popolare di Vicenza. At the same time, Banca Nuova was hived off without the Lazio branches. Today, Gruppo Banca Popolare di Vicenza has more than 680 branches across the country, 5,600 employees, a million clients, and about 60,000 shareholders.
The presence of the bank abroad, besides the aforementioned representative offices in China, India, Brazil and the USA, the financial shares in central-eastern Europe (Slovenia, Croatia, the Czech Republic, the Slovak Republic, Hungary, Romania, Bosnia Herzegovina, where it operates through “international desks” in local partner banks), and the two companies ruled by Irish law based in Dublin, is guaranteed by cooperation agreements with the main foreign banks, for a total of 47 agreements in 29 countries, among which, for instance, Spain and Taiwan.
The Bank has always kept a strong tie with its territory through cultural, social and sports projects. Among these, there is the improvement of Palazzo Thiene in Vicenza, and Palazzo degli Alberti in Prato, both historical headquarters of banks; the participation in health projects (“Progetto Sanità”) and sports projects (sponsorship of the first-team and the youth sector of Vicenza Calcio (football), co-sponsorship of Rugby Rovigo, main sponsorship of the youth sector of Reggiana Pallacanestro (basketball), of Women Volley Vicenza, “Maratonina di Udine”, the running competition StraVicenza, and the summer “City Camp” of Vicenza Calcio). Lastly, the Bank supports education and research through scholarships and the collaboration with the new University of Vicenza, as well as through interventions in support of local economies, with particular attention to small and medium industrial, craft and commercial enterprises.