Intesa Sanpaolo was created on January 1, 2007, through the merger of two leading Italian banking groups, Banca Intesa and Sanpaolo IMI.
The first steps toward the merger process were taken on August 26, 2006, when the Boards of Directors of the two banks approved the guidelines for a merger plan. The plan was then agreed by the Boards on October 12 and ratified by the Extraordinary Shareholders' Meetings of the two banks on December 1 of the same year.
Banca Intesa was formed in 1998 from the merger of Cariplo and Banco Ambrosiano Veneto. In 1999, Banca Commerciale Italiana (BCI) joined the Intesa Group. With the subsequent merger of BCI into Banca Intesa (May 2001), the group took the name IntesaBci. In December 2002 the Shareholders' Meeting resolved the change of the company name to Banca Intesa, effective as of January 1, 2003.
Sanpaolo IMI was formed in 1998 from the merger of Istituto Bancario San Paolo di Torino and IMI (Istituto Mobiliare Italiano). These two banks were highly complementary: Istituto Bancario San Paolo di Torino was specialised in retail lending, IMI, a public entity founded in 1931 to support the reconstruction of the national industrial system, was a leading business and investment bank.