The origins of the Banco di Napoli date back to the public banks in religious locations, which emerged in Naples in the 16th and 17th centuries. One of the first charitable institutions to go into banking was the Monte di Pietà, founded in 1539, whose philanthropic purpose was to provide interest-free loans on pawned goods. Later, the Monte di Pietà opened a depository bank that was recognized with a viceregal proclamation in 1584.
Another seven institutions were then opened: the Sacro Monte e Banco dei Poveri (1600); the Banco Ave Gratia Plena or Banco della Santissima Annunziata (1587); the Banco di Santa Maria del Popolo (1589); the Banco dello Spirito Santo (1590); the Banco di Sant' Eligio (1592); the Banco di San Giacomo e Vittoria (1597); and the Banco del Santissimo Salvatore (1640). These eight banks prospered for over two hundred years.
In 1794, Ferdinand IV of Bourbon combined all the public banks into the Banco Nazionale di Napoli. In December 1808, Joachim Murat became King of Naples and attempted to create a joint-stock bank modeled on the Bank of France.
The new institution, which took the name Banco delle Due Sicilie, had to perform the same functions as the banks that had been closed, through the Cassa di Corte and the Cassa dei Privati.
With the unification of Italy in 1861, the Banco delle Due Sicilie became the Banco di Napoli. Right from its foundation in 1861, in spite of all of the difficulties deriving from the new institutional and political organization of Italy, the Banco di Napoli increased its activities and intensified its relations with the private economic world. In addition to establishing a Cassa di Risparmio (savings bank), which was later absorbed into the main bank, the Banco di Napoli grew its assets within a very few years and opened branches in Florence (1867), Rome (1871), and Milan (1872).
It succeeded in confirming the bills it issued, becoming the second-largest credit institution in the kingdom of Italy. This assisted penetration of the economy and society in favor of the most industrious sectors in the country. The Banco di Napoli financed the economy of Naples and Italy's south on several occasions, supporting it during its times of greatest need. It funded the transformation of farming in the south from cereal-growing to specialized farming, and most of the southern vineyards and citrus orchards took out loans from the Banco di Napoli's agricultural loan department.
The year 1901 marked the Banco di Napoli's first experience abroad: the bank set up an inspectorate in New York, with the aim of facilitating remittances from Italian emigrants. In 1907 the inspectorate became an office and in 1909 it was upgraded to a bank branch.
Until the decree of 6 May 1926, the Banco di Napoli was a note-issuing institution. After this date it was defined as a public credit institution. On 9 May 1940, with war approaching, the bank inaugurated its new headquarters in via Roma just in time. The new building had been built the previous year to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the founding of the Banco di Napoli. In 1989, the Banco di Napoli's new logo was registered.
In 1991 Italy enacted the "Amato Law", which transformed the bank from a public credit institution into a joint-stock company. Over the years the bank has continued its involvement in the economy of the region in which it operates, reflecting its trends, peculiarities and even its contradictions.
At the end of 2002, as a result of the merger by incorporation into Sanpaolo IMI, the Banco di Napoli was taken over by the parent company. On 1 July 2003 a spin-off took place, creating Sanpaolo Banco di Napoli S.p.A., a new bank with its own legal status and which operates across the four southern regions of Campania, Puglia, Basilicata and Calabria. And so the strong roots in Italy's mezzogiorno, the traditions that defined the history of the former Banco di Napoli, continue to the present day. A great bank in a great Group, aimed at providing strong competition and creating significant advantages for the surrounding economic fabric.
On 22 October 2007 the bank takes its original denomination Banco di Napoli.