The history of the Banca dell'Adriatico is one of successive mergers of various credit institutions in central Italy. The original core bank, the Banca Popolare Pesarese e Ravennate, was established in Pesaro in 1875 as the Banca Popolare Pesarese and over the following years it gradually broadened its operations to well beyond its region of origin through the acquisition of several smaller banks.
Cooperativa di Bagnacavallo e Fusignano into the Banca Popolare Pesarese in 1989, the Banca Popolare Pesarese e Ravennate was formally created. The bank was now a significant presence across multiple regions in the area.
The second core of the Sanpaolo Banca dell'Adriatico was the Banca Popolare Abruzzese Marchigiana, itself the result of the merger between Banca Popolare di Teramo and the Banche Popolari di San Benedetto del Tronto e Castel di Sangro, which took place in 1984.
The Banca Popolare dell'Adriatico was founded as a cooperative society with limited responsibility on 1 July 1994, following the merger between the Banca Popolare Pesarese e Ravennate and the Banca Popolare Abruzzese Marchigiana.
In 1997, the Banca Popolare dell'Adriatico became a jont-stock company or società per azioni (literally, a company for shareholders, abbreviated to S.p.A.) and became part of the CAER Banking Group, which included the Cassa di Risparmio in Bologna S.p.A, the Banca Agricola KMECKA Banca S.p.A. and Finemiro Banca S.p.A.
May 1997 saw the successful conclusion of the takeover bid launched by the Cassa di Risparmio in Bologna S.p.A. and its parent company, CAER, on the bank's ordinary shares and warrants and representing the control package of the bank's share capital (52.08%).
In February 2000, following the merger of the Casse Venete and CAER, the Cardine Banca was formed. This was the holding company of the new Cardine Group. The new Group was one of the eight largest credit institutions in Italy.
On 1 June 2002 Cardine Banca S.p.A. was merged into Sanpaolo IMI S.p.A. In June 2006, as part of the reorganization of the Group's east coast business distribution network (the "Adriatic backbone"), the Banca Popolare dell'Adriatico was incorporated into the parent bank and the bank branches were transferred to Sanpaolo Banca dell'Adriatico (the Group's new commercial bank and wholly controlled by Sanpaolo IMI), giving it complete control of the Marche, Abruzzo and Molise regions.
On 22 October 2007 the bank changed its name from Sanpaolo Banca dell'Adriatico into Banca dell'Adriatico.