“We must be a real engine of sustainable and inclusive growth, delivering better opportunities to the next generations,” said Marco Rottigni, Head of Intesa Sanpaolo’s International Subsidiary Banks Division (ISBD), as he opened its recent webinar on impact banking.
The ambition to become the “impact bank for the world”, driven by global trends such as the climate crisis, population ageing and digitalisation, has been thrown into greater relief by the COVID-19 pandemic. “We must restore hope,” Rottigni continued.
Seven senior leaders from a wide range of departments joined the roundtable. Their focus, Rottigni explained, was not only to explore strategies for innovating organisational and business models that place environmental, social and governance (ESG) values at their core, but also to highlight the many opportunities this approach offers the bank and its stakeholders.
Our ambition: to become the world’s impact bank
Leaders from across Intesa Sanpaolo explore how to embed ESG values and make a sustainable, positive difference for planet and people.
“Intesa Sanpaolo must act as a front-runner”
“We must leverage inclusivity for a more holistic approach that opens new opportunities”
“We set clear targets, ambitions and KPIs to support our vision for a positive impact on society”
“Financial education is a revolutionary and inclusive tool”
Another key element of creating real value for society is financial education, something about which Paladino – also director of the bank’s Museum of Savings – is passionate. “Increasing financial literacy is crucial”.
The OECD is clear it is lacking.
This is especially true for women, the elderly and the young.
“Knowledge of basic concepts is a toolkit to defend against poor advice, financial anxiety or the risks of people believing they know more than they do. It can prevent indebtedness and despair.” Moreover, Paladino added, the benefit to banks of having financially healthier clients is indisputable.
But approaching the hardest to reach requires nuance and any one-size-fits-all plan would be doomed to failure. “It must be multi-channel. We use schools and edutainment with children. But we produce written material specifically for women, encouraging financial independence, because they have told us they don’t want face-to-face training.”
Successful financial education leads to planning. “Fear and precautionary savings cannot be the driver of long-lasting and sustainable growth,” said Paladino. “Financial education is a revolutionary and inclusive tool.”
A positive impact requires ambition and, as Marco Rottigni reminded the webinar audience, is a responsibility. “It is a mandatory challenge for companies like ours. Intesa Sanpaolo shouldn’t merely keep up. We must act as a front-runner.”
Last updated 3 November 2021