Acronym: BP. Banco Popolare is a cooperative, whose headquarter is in Verona. It was established on 1 July 2007, at the same time when the group Gruppo Banco Popolare was constituted as the result of the merger of Gruppo Banca Popolare Italiana – Banca Popolare di Lodi with Gruppo Banca Popolare di Verona e Novara, and it assumed the role of Leader Bank.
The historical background of Banco Popolare coincides with that of the main banks composing it: the common values are mutual aid, the promotion of social solidarity, a sense of responsibility towards local economies, and the safeguard of economic entrepreneurial freedom. The main banks belonging to the Group originated in the 19th century, and they constitute to a large extent the original core of cooperative banks in Italy, whose key values they have kept alive until today.
Fig. 1 - Dates of establishment of Gruppo Banco Popolare's member banks
In particular, Banca Popolare di Verona – Banco S. Geminiano e S. Prospero (acronym: BPV) was founded with the name of Banca Mutua Popolare di Verona in 1867, the eighth Italian cooperative bank according to founding date, and changed its name into Banca Popolare di Verona in 1977. Banca Popolare di Lodi (acronym: BPL and Bipielle) was the first cooperative bank to be founded in Italy, on 28 March 1864. Banca Popolare di Novara (acronym: BPN) was established by means of royal decree on 17 September 1871 as a joint-stock cooperative on the initiative of the city’s politicians and entrepreneurs. It soon increased the number of branches, first in the region and then in the regions next to it, also by taking over small local banks. Credito Bergamasco was founded in Bergamo in 1891 as a cooperative bank with the name of Piccolo Credito Bergamasco.
During the 20th century, especially after WW2, Banca Popolare di Verona, Banco S. Geminiano e S. Prospero, Banca Popolare di Novara, Banca Popolare di Lodi, Credito Bergamasco and the other banks that are now part of Gruppo Banco Popolare, became deep-rooted in their territories and promoted paths of growth for the local economies and communities. The constitution of Banco Popolare represents in the same way a further contribution towards the economic, as well as social and cultural development of the people and communities that are involved in the activities of the group.
In March 2007, the Company meetings of Banco Popolare di Verona, Banco Popolare di Novara and of Banca Popolare Italiana –Banca Popolare di Lodi approved the constitution of Banco Popolare. The governance of the group was organised according to a ‘dualistic’ model, therefore the Supervisory Board and the Management Board, together with the Company meeting, represent the top of the corporate bodies. The operation, that is to say the merger of the two pre-existing groups, allowed the creation of a new banking body with a cooperative nature and of great importance both at a national and European level. It ranks among the first cooperative banks in Italy and its presence is concentrated in the richest and most industrialised areas of the country, but it is also strong in central Italy, and remarkably present in the Southern regions. Banco Popolare can also boast a widespread presence in the territory (over 2,000 branches) and a broad costumer base, composed mainly of private individuals and small and medium enterprises.
The merger project, based on the coherence between Gruppo BPI’s industrial plan “Banca delle Piazze” and Gruppo BPVN’s strategic plan, played on the development of the traditional core business, by enhancing the geographic complementarity -with strong territorial roots- of the distributive networks and the excellence of the factories, as well as by allowing the realisation of important synergies.
The attention towards the communities and local territories is integrated by a good presence of the Group on foreign markets, so as to provide support and assistance to client companies that are export-oriented.
Editor: Banco Popolare October 2010