Cassa di Risparmio di Bologna

The background to the creation of the Cassa di Risparmio in Bologna dates back to 1835, when the Papal Government decided to set up a Central Commission for Public Charity in charge of managing the poorhouse in Bologna and two other homes for the poor in the province of Bologna.Inspired by the successful launch of the Cassa di Risparmio di Roma, the members of the Commission (all influential figures of authority in Bologna) decided to found an institute in their city with the same objectives as the Roman example and to be run in the same manner.

The foundation's primary goal was to "encourage the people to save their monies and also offer a means for keeping them safe, and thus create a capital to be drawn on in the case of illness, during old age, and for any other exceptional need".

The initiative could not have come at a better time: thanks to the assiduous support of the Pontifical Legate, Cardinal Vincenzo Macchi, it was not difficult to collect the sum of 5,000 scudi, which formed the institute's share capital and was divided into 100 non-interest-bearing shares of 50 scudi each. Subscribers for shares included many luminaries of the day: Prince Felice Baciocchi, brother-in-law of Napoleon I; future statesman Marco Minghetti; famous composer Gioacchino Rossini; patriot and politician Carlo Berti Pichat; Papal Legate Cardinal Vincenzo Macchi himself, and Archbishop Cardinal Carlo Oppizzoni.

A special dispensation by Archbishop Oppizoni made it possible for bank branches to open on Sundays to receive deposits. The rules were strict: deposits were not to be less than five baiocchi (the coin of the old Papal States) or more than six scudi, which represented the average weekly savings of a "prudent head of the family". When it came to giving out loans, craftsmen and merchants were to be favored in order to stimulate the city's economy. All profits (less the amount allocated for reserves) were to be allocated to good works to aid depositors who fell into poverty, young women with no dowries and who were to be married, young people in order to teach them the values of frugality, and other philanthropic initiatives.

A public notice on the streets of Bologna on 26 September 1837 announced that the Cassa di Risparmio in Bologna would open for the first time on the first Sunday in October.

From 1837 to the present

From 1837 onwards, the Cassa di Risparmio in Bologna became an established presence, first in the province of Bologna and later in all the major towns of Emilia Romagna, before going on to become one of the leading banks in the region and one of the largest in Italy. In 1992 "Carisbo", as the Cassa di Risparmio in Bologna was popularly known, created the CAER banking group with the objective of developing and coordinating the bank's growth strategies.

In 1994 BIMER Banca, Emilia Romagna's medium-term credit institution, was also incorporated. This acquisition made CAER the regional leader in this market segment and enabled it to operate as a full-service bank, offering both short-term and medium-long term loans. After a successful take-over bid in February 1997, the Banca Popolare dell'Adriatico (with 125 branches along the central Adriatic ridge and with significant market shares in Romagna, Marche, and Abruzzo), became part of the CAER-Carisbo banking group, decisively boosting the group's expansion and laying the foundations for new development opportunities.

In February 2000, the merger of the Casse Venete and CAER produced Cardine Banca, the holding company of the new Cardine Group.
On 1 June 2002, the merger through acquisition of Cardine Banca S.p.A. into Sanpaolo IMI was concluded, creating one of Italy's biggest credit institutions. The merger brought together institutions that had exceptional capabilities for creating value, were concentrated in specific geographical areas and whose businesses complemented each other to a great degree. Its main objective was to create a banking center that had strong roots in the regions it had adopted, which could achieve cost benefits and economies of scale by centralizing services and support and enhancing its range of products, and which would actively participate in the consolidation process that was taking place in the field of finance in Italy and across Europe.

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