Fewer and fewer banks in the Italian Municipalities. Nearly 600 branches closed in the first half-year

Fewer and fewer banks in the Italian Municipalities.  Nearly 600 branches closed in the first half-year

The President of the Republic, Sergio Mattarella, also spoke about it, praising the territorial garrison that the CCBs ensure. The "desertification" of the Italian banking landscape is increasingly evident and the trend hasn't stopped even in recent months. To certify it, a report of the First Cisl elaborated by the Fiba Foundation which draws the map of the presence of bank branches in the Italian provinces.

Starting with a given: 593 were closed in the first half of 2023. "Consequently, the number of people (+270,000, over 4.2 million in total) and businesses (+17,000, 249,000 in total) who do not have access to banking services in the municipality of residence is increasing".

The work also offers some counter-intuitive results. The Fiba Foundation has developed an indicator that assigns a score to each Italian province based on the percentage, calculated on the respective totals, of the number of municipalities without a branch or with a branch, the resident population, the companies with registered offices in said municipalities and the relative surface area.

The result is a ranking with some surprises and in which, in principle, the large municipalities come out almost worse than the small ones. “At the top, with the same score, there are Barletta-Andria-Trani and Brindisi (Puglia), Grosseto and Pisa (Tuscany), Ravenna and Reggio Emilia (Emilia Romagna) and Ragusa (Sicily). In these seven provinces, no municipality was left without bank branches,” says the survey. “On the second step are Bari (Puglia) and Livorno (Tuscany). In third place we find Mantua (Lombardy), in fourth Siena (Tuscany) and Venice (Veneto), in fifth Modena (Emilia Romagna)”. And he notes again: “To find the big cities, where, with the exception of Mps, the major banking groups have their headquarters, you have to go down to the 16th square, occupied by Milan. Trento, headquarters of the CCB cooperative credit group, is 19th. Detach Rome (34th) and Naples (41st)".

The most "desertified" provinces are instead in Calabria and Molise. In last place, paired, Vibo Valentia and Isernia, preceded by Campobasso and Cosenza. Rieti (Lazio), Verbano-Cusio-Ossola
(Piedmont), Aosta (Valle d'Aosta), Avellino (Campania), Reggio
Calabria and Catanzaro (Calabria) complete the ten o'clock picture
provinces with less banking presence.

"The data show that banking desertification has affected the Italian provinces in very different ways", commented the general secretary of First Cisl, Riccardo Colombani – Within the same regions there are marked differences,
while the big cities, contrary to expectations, are all out of the top positions”. The resilience of some areas of the South is judged "Surprising", but in general the communities where the banking presence holds "stand out for the roots of small banks, which see their business model rewarded with the rise in interest rates
focused on territoriality and credit disbursement": On the other hand, Colombani points the finger at "the big banks" guilty, according to him, of "continuing to close branches: almost 600 in the first months of 2023 alone. An unsustainable pace - he concludes - which puts at risk
local economy and social cohesion”.

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