Founded in 1829 as an association between private citizens, at the beginning it acted as a credit institution with mainly social functions, whose deposits contributed to improving the wellbeing of savers, and to facilitating the investments in the local economy. The results obtained since the first years of activity allowed Cassa di Risparmio di Firenze to develop rapidly, and to spread its territorial network through a few branches in other provinces of Tuscany, where, moreover, the presence and autonomy of the other provincial mutual savings banks continued. In 1992, the bank transformed itself according to law 30.7.1990 n.218, thus originating Cassa di Risparmio di Firenze S.p.A., in charge of the banking activities, and Ente Cassa di Risparmio di Firenze, a shareholder of the bank and the institution in charge of continuing the social, cultural and research activities.
By inheriting the role of the original Cassa di Risparmio di Firenze, the foundation Ente Cassa di Risparmio di Firenze pursues its statutory objectives by operating in Tuscany, with particular attention to the territory of Florence and to the areas where the banks has traditionally operated. The foundation employs the proceeds of its large heritage in order to realise and fund projects. Furthermore, it supports those in need of solidarity, rehabilitation, and assistance. It promotes civil growth and the development of the city of Florence, as well as of the territories where it is present. The sectors in which the foundation works are: art, cultural activities and cultural assets; environmental safeguard and quality; scientific research and technological innovation; charity and philanthropy; youth education.
In order to make its action more effective and to satisfy the needs of the territory in an organic and programmed way, every year, the priorities of intervention are listed in a programmatic document, in line with the general strategic guidelines. Such a document defines the objectives to pursue according to the available resources. The foundation operates through its own projects, as well as by supporting third party initiatives that pursue the same objectives. The Ente has three operational foundations through which it intervenes indirectly with the aim of preserving the environmental and historical heritage, of promoting the territory, and of developing financial studies: Fondazione Parchi monumentali Bardini e Peyron, Fondazione Rinascimento Digitale, and Fondazione Cesifin.
With regard to Cassa, since 1998, it became the group leader of Gruppo Bancario Cassa di Risparmio di Firenze, which has shares in the capital stock of Cassa di Risparmio di Pistoia e Pescia, Cassa di Risparmio di Civitavecchia (51%), Cassa di Risparmio di Orvieto (73.57%), and also of: Cassa di Risparmio di Mirandola, Centrovita Assicurazioni, Findomestic banca, Findomestic sviluppo, Centrofactoring, Centroleasing, Eptaconsors and other service companies. Findomestic, today the main consumer credit provider in Italy, was created together with the French of Bnp-Paribas. The latter are indeed shareholders of Cassa di Risparmio di Firenze S.p.A. (6.99%), together with Ente Cassa di Risparmio di Firenze (43.18%), San Paolo IMI (19.09%), Ente Cassa di Risparmio di Pistoia (3.95%) and a few minor ones. In the Mediobanca ranking list of 2003 of the national banking groups by collection, Cassa di Risparmio di Firenze ranked 16th. Today, the bank has 269 branches in Tuscany and three representative offices abroad. Since 29/01/2008, following a public takeover bid, Cassa di Risparmio di Firenze S.p.A. was delisted from the Midex segment of the Milan Stock Exchange and it became controlled by Gruppo Intesa Sanpaolo.
Links (in Italian only): www.bancacrfirenze.it; www.entecarifirenze.it