Intesa Sanpaolo Activities in Russia
The Italian banking group Intesa Sanpaolo has been present in Russia for 47 years. Over the years, the bank became one of the main participants in the most important economic and financial transactions carried out within the framework of Russian-Italian business cooperation and an extensive program of cultural exchange between the two countries.
The first contacts between Russia and the Italian commercial banks, which later became part of the Intesa Sanpaolo Group, were established even earlier. In 1924 Banca Commerciale Italiana (BCI) started a business relationship with the Soviet Union which was officially recognized by the Italian government. Since then BCI actively cooperated with the Soviet government. The Bank was involved in many significant projects, the most famous of which was the financing of the car manufacturing plant in Togliattigrad in the 1960s.
On the initiative of Raffaele Mattioli, the President of Banca Commerciale Italiana, at the end of the 1960s, the bank was involved in financing the first gas pipeline which connected the Soviet Union and Italy (the end point of the gas pipeline was the city of Sergnano in the Province of Cremona). The gas pipeline was opened in 1974. In 1987 Banca Commerciale Italiana joined the Italian delegation in London, that signed an agreement to double gas supplies between Italy and the USSR.
In October 1973, Banca Commerciale Italiana opened the first Representative Office of a foreign bank in Moscow.
International Moscow Bank was founded in 1989, with the participation of Soviet and Western shareholders, including Banca Commerciale Italiana. This was an important stage of the development of the Bank in Russia. The Italian bank already had similar experience in Hungary and was invited by Gosbank of the USSR to host the new project. During this period BCI was among the top five foreign banks in terms of the loan portfolio of projects in the Soviet Union, which reached USD 300 million at that time.
Later, BCI and many other major Italian banks, entered the Intesa Sanpaolo Group.
Intesa Sanpaolo has gained wide working experience in Russia, including servicing foreign trade operations between Russian and Italian companies, and financing major investment projects in Russia.