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Italy - USA: 160 years of diplomatic relations

Italy USA 160 years diplomatic relations

Intesa Sanpaolo is proud to celebrate 160 years of diplomatic relations between Italy and the United States.

Throughout the enduring friendship between the two countries, Intesa Sanpaolo has played a key role in deepening bilateral relations. The group opened its first American office in 1909 and later assisted in managing the Marshall Plan funds provided to Italy after World War II. Read more below on the history that links Italian banking to the United States.

To mark the anniversary, the Embassy of Italy in Washington DC, has created a dedicated website that will host cultural events throughout 2021. The site includes a message from Intesa Sanpaolo CEO Carlo Messina, viewable below. 

Message from CEO Carlo Messina

Watch the video message from Intesa Sanpaolo CEO Carlo Messina or read the full statement:

"160 years of diplomatic relations between Italy and the United States is an anniversary that Intesa Sanpaolo is honored to celebrate.

"Our bank’s ties to the US are deep, starting in 1909 when we opened our first office in New York.

"Over the decades, Intesa Sanpaolo has played a key role in developing bilateral relations. This includes managing the Marshall Plan funds provided to Italy after World War Two.

"Today, we serve clients in the US and the Americas through our presence in New York and Washington DC, promoting investments and trade on both sides of the Atlantic.

"Intesa Sanpaolo is strongly committed to being an engine of growth for the real economies in which we operate.

"As one of Europe’s strongest banks, we also believe that we have a duty to support social inclusion, fight climate change, and promote culture and innovation.

"This anniversary reminds us all that US-Italian cooperation is a vital relationship in the Transatlantic Alliance that benefits our countries as well as Europe and the world more broadly.

"Intesa Sanpaolo will continue working to strengthen the friendship and cooperation between Italy and the US, and I personally renew my best wishes for this important celebration".

The history that links Italian banking to the United States

The ties between the United States and some of the banks that later merged into Intesa Sanpaolo are over one hundred years old. These institutions have gone through two World Wars, accompanied the recovery and boom of the post-war period and faced the changes in the banking system that began in the 1980s.

It all began with remittances. At the turn of the last century, communities such as Little Italy in New York were beginning to make their economic mark. “The most important factor at the outset was the focus on Italian migrants and the emergence of numerous Italian colonies in the Americas. That is what took banks into the United States,” says Barbara Costa, head of Intesa Sanpaolo’s historical archives.

Read the full article

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