Istituto Bancario San Paolo di Torino - Intesa Sanpaolo Bank
Istituto Bancario San Paolo di Torino
The origins of Sanpaolo go back to 1563 in Turin, when a brotherhood known as "Compagnia di San Paolo" laid the foundations for what a few years later would become the Monte di Pietà. This new institution offered loans at extremely low interest rates in order to provide the poor with an alternative to usury.
In the second half of the 17th century, the Monte di Pietà took over the administration of the public debt of the state of Savoy: this marked an evolution towards becoming a proper credit institute, which became definitive in the mid-18th century. However, it was only in the 19th century that a bank in the sense that we know it today was created, with the issue of property loans beginning in the second half of that century.
Having survived the banking recession at the end of the 19th century, Sanpaolo began the new century as a leader in the credit sector for Turin's industrial development and Italy's economic growth. A decree in 1932 defined the scope of public interest and made Sanpaolo's primary role in the Italian economy official, transforming the bank into a public law Credit Institute, a status which was maintained until its transformation into a joint-stock company on 1st January 1992.
The bank continued to grow, expanding its domestic network in Italy in the 1960s and 70s and beginning a gradual process of internationalisation in the second half of the 1970s. In the 1990s, with the acquisition of other banks, Sanpaolo continued to expand and consolidate its Italian network, and further developed its overseas presence and its range of products and services.
In 1997 the process of privatisation was completed and the merger with IMI took place the following year.