MONTE DEI PASCHI DI SIENA
It is the name by which Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena S.p.A. (acronym: BMPS) is currently known. It was established in 1995, by means of a decree by the Minister of the Treasury dated 8 August 1995, to accept the banking institution Monte dei Paschi di Siena (acronym: MPS), one of the six public credit institutions according to the budget law of 1936. Monte dei Paschi di Siena then transformed itself on 28 August 1995 into Fondazione Monte dei Paschi di Siena, thus remaining a public institution (but not a credit one anymore). Through the ratification of the new statute, on 8 may 2001, the Foundation assumed a non-profit private legal status, whose mission is pursuing assistance and charity, besides social utility in the fields of scientific research, education, art and health, especially with reference to the town and province of Siena. The bank Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena, instead, continues with the typical credit, financial and insurance operations as a universal bank, by operating also through the controlled banks. Monte dei Paschi di Siena seems to be the oldest bank in the world that is still operational. Indeed, its origin dates back to the Monte pio di Siena, constituted by the Magistrates of the Republic of Siena in 1472 to carry out the foreclosure in favour of the population’s most disadvantaged classes in a particularly difficult moment for the local economy. Monte pio was funded by permanent loans and free grant contributions by the State of Siena, brotherhoods and other charity bodies of the city. A first reform in 1568 extended the financing to town institutions (e.g. the University) and to farmers of the Maremma area, and it gave Monte pio penal jurisdiction. In 1580, the collectorship service was assigned to Monte pio. Between 1619 and 1624, Gran Duke Ferdinando II of Tuscany constituted Monte non vacabile de’ paschi della Città e dello Stato di Siena by giving it tasks of a real bank in order to re-launch the stagnant economy of the town and its territories. The Gran Duke’s warranty was granted to the collection by binding to this aim the state-owned revenues of the Maremma (the so called “Paschi” the bank was named after). Monte pio and Monte de’ paschi merged in 1783 into one institution called Monti riuniti, to which a section of Cassa di Risparmio (savings bank) was added in 1834. After the unification of Italy, the operational area and the activity fields of Monte became wider and wider. The current name of Monte dei Paschi di Siena was attributed in 1872 by the ratification decree of the new statute.
After WW1, Monte dei Paschi di Siena started a phase of remarkable expansion, by opening about a hundred branches, by taking on many collectorship services, and by taking over some local banks in trouble. From the merger of two of these banks, Credito Toscano and Banca di Firenze, Banca Toscana was created, which became soon controlled by Monte. The growth continued with a faster pace after WW2, through the opening of new branches and the takeover of banks. The most relevant takeovers were those of Credito Lombardo from Compagnia di assicurazioni di Milano (Milan Insurance Company) in 1976 (and sold out to Banca Antoniana - Popolare veneta in 1995), that of Credito commerciale from Italmobiliare in 1979 (then sold out to Cassa di Risparmio di Parma e Piacenza in 1994), that of the Italian international bank in London (whose activities flew together in the London’s branch of Monte), of the Istituto nazionale di credito per il lavoro italiano all’estero - ICLE (incorporated by Mediocredito toscano - another bank controlled by Monte - in 1992) from Banca Nazionale del Lavoro (BNL). In 1992, Monte bought out Cassa di Risparmio di Prato-Cariprato, Banque Atlantis in Geneva, and Mediocredito toscano. The latter, transformed into a limited company in 1992, was re-named MPS Merchant S.p.A. in 2001. In 1997, Monte bought a share in San Paolo IMI, reaching 5%, and between the end of 1997 and the beginning of 1998, it made a takeover bid for Banca Agricola mantovana - BAM, by buying 70% of it, and by putting back 19% of it on the market later on.
Afterwards, in 2000, Monte bought, partly through a takeover bid, almost 94% of Banca del Salento - Credito popolare salentino, and, in 2001, 4.75% of Banca Nazionale del Lavoro (BNL). A fundamental step for the entire group Monte dei Paschi di Siena was the listing of the group leader Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena on the Milan Stock Exchange, on 25 June 1999. Indeed, following the listing on the stock exchange, an intense phase of territorial and operational expansion started. This was characterised not only by the acquisition of shares of regional banks with deep roots in the territory, but also by the enhancement of production structures in strategic segments of the market, through the development of spinoff companies (Consum.it in the area of consumer credit, MPS Leasing & Factory in the activities allied to banking, MPS Finance in the field of investment banking, MP Asset Management SGR in the asset management, MPS Banca Personale (Personal Banking) in financial promotion). The activities in the specialised sector of enterprises and corporate finance services credit were gathered in MPS Banca per l’Impresa (MPS Banking for the Enterprise), and an increase in commercial productivity through models of specialised service according to client segment was remarked. Moreover, the Group focused its attention on some strategic areas in particular, like private banking and the social security savings market.
In 2007, the process of expansion started again. Indeed, 55% of Biverbanca - Cassa di Risparmio di Biella e Vercelli in 2007, and Banca Antonveneta in 2008 were bought. the Bank in 2017 has 2100 branches.
The bank went into a severe crisis in 2011, and even failed the stress tests implemented by the European Central Bank - ECB in October 2014. After being suspended on the Milan stock exchange, ithe Bank obtained €5.4trillion of State Aid by the Italian government in July 2017. The Minister of Economics is the first share holder of the bank.