Intesa, Unicredit and Bper, here is the holy alliance in defense of Italianness against Crédit Agricole

Projects and wishes of the top management of Intesa Sanpaolo, Unicredit and Bper – also delivered to Palazzo Chigi – against the aims of the French group of Crédit Agricole, which also joined Banco Bpm. Facts, names and rumors

On the agenda of the main observers of the Italian banking sector, politicians and all professionals there is a date that for some weeks has been highlighted with a red circle: it is 29 April. On Friday, the shareholders’ meeting of Intesa Sanpaolo will have to appoint the board of directors of the group for the next three years and the confirmation of Carlo Messina has already been sealed for months. After all, the number one of Ca ‘de Sass has all the numbers on his side, including revenues, profits and billionaire dividends distributed to shareholders. Not only. Above all, Messina has built, in his first three terms as chief executive officer, a group that is not only solid and profitable, but is also a structural reference point for the Italian economic system. On the same day the game is also played on Generali. Also on Friday 29 April, in fact, the shareholders of the Leone di Trieste will decide whether the company, which has 400 billion euros of Italian savings in its belly, will continue to be managed by Mediobanca and Philippe Donnet or if there will be a turnaround, with the ball. which will pass into the hands of board indicated Francesco Gaetano Caltagirone.

However, Generali’s is not the only financial game on which the market and political spotlights are focused. On 7 April, the French of Crédit Agricole they came in in Banco Bpm with a significant stake, equal to 9.2% of the share capital. The rationale for this move, which has taken by surprise almost all the top bankers, it is still not clear: in short, it is not known whether the Banque Verte wants to climb further in Piazza Meda, to get to control, or if it aspires to a long-term partnership in insurance policies.

The fact is that the prospect of a rise by the transalpine giant in Banco Bpm does not appeal to Italian bankers at all: stomach aches are increasingly evident. Hence the birth of an unprecedented scenario, unthinkable only a few weeks ago or a three-color alliance: Intesa, Unicredit and Bper-Unipol could take action to prevent the total purchase of Banco Bpm by Crédit Agricole. The objective would be to avoid the prospect of leaving in the hands of the French (who already have BNL with Bnp since 2006 and, with Credit Agricole itself, have conquered since 2007, first Cariparma, then Friuladria, CariSpezia, former CariVeneto and CariFirenze branches, then the savings banks of Rimini, Cesena and San Miniato and, recently, the Creval) a relevant piece of the tricolor banking industry: the Italian nature of credit would therefore be concretely compromised, some bankers fear.

That is why the government was concerned with the matter. The dossier is of absolute priority. Despite the Treaty of the Quirinale, which has strengthened relations between Italy and France, the executive – this is the sense of the reasoning delivered to Palazzo Chigi – cannot leave the golden power in the drawer. This is the tool that allows the government to stop foreign takeovers on Italian industries and groups operating in sectors considered strategic such as defense, telecommunications and, indeed, banks. Relations between Rome and Paris are excellent; national interests, however, argue the Italian bankers, must prevail over everything else. In short, the game is not clear at all, on the contrary: both financially and politically, the Sherpas move with negotiations that cannot be considered fully transparent.

There is one aspect that could represent a turning point and bring everyone to agree, at least within our borders. The holy alliance in defense of the Italian nature of the Italian banking sector could offer the Treasury a way out for Monte dei paschi di Siena, of which the State is still a shareholder with 64% of the shares. The knot is entirely political and clearly also touches international relations, those between Rome and Paris. The solution, however, could be summarized as follows: Intesa, Unicredit and Bper-Unipol could sit at the table of the Ministry of Economy and offer a solution for Mps, if the government undertakes not to lower the flag from Piazza Meda. On the other hand, closing the Montepaschi affair is a priority for the government itself.

Apart from the corporate knots and the bailouts, the market obviously does not stop and the banking groups continue to implement their respective business plans in order to achieve their strategic and budgetary objectives. Bper could close the incorporation of Carige prematurely and then point to Popolare di Sondrio: the group led by Piero Montani proceeds quickly with the timetable, but more than someone begins to complain visibly about the commercial pressure exerted on the bank’s employees to push the sale of financial and insurance products. A detailed note would have been sent to the Parliamentary Commission on the banks investigation to shed light on the matter. The target would be the sales manager Stefano Rossetti to whom the many stomach aches inside the bank certainly do not benefit the health and serenity of the group and what transpires from sources inside the bank that there is no direct connection between Carlo Cimbri and Stefano Rossetti as someone, today as in the past, is trying to feed.

As for Bnl, exactly one year after her appointment as CEO, Elena Goitini’s path is positively judged by the market, by observers and above all by the French owners. The only thorny question is that of outsourcingwhich they did not like nor were they digested by employees. The responsibility also lies with the company union, which has not fully fulfilled its role since it should have obtained an agreement to protect the 900 workers transferred with the back office and information technology company branches, for which only the parachute of the judiciary. In the meantime, the internal trade unions ended up in the crosshairs of the company that yesterday started a very hard crackdown. Not only. The bank has distanced itself from some of its managers who had managed trade union relations in recent years: it was discovered, among other things, that almost all company union representatives (RSA) had expired for years and had never been renewed and that some trade unions have been given an advantage to the detriment of others, with more trade union permits and detachments than other unions, with the aim of “rewarding” some unions. There is a truly sensational number: it would seem that over 25,000 hours of trade union leave have not been “paid” by the trade unions with the coupons provided for by national bargaining. In short, opaque relationships and some privileged organizations to the detriment of others, to the point that more than one complaint would have arrived at the Rome Public Prosecutor’s Office to denounce, in particular, the severance pay of some union leaders who left the group due to age limits in the in recent years as well as for the management of the confederation of recreational and sports clubs, to which a thorough inspection of the bank will start next week. Also yesterday, it was communicated to all the unions and, a few days earlier with a letter to Ugl, internally represented by Ennio Occhipinti, that Ugl itself will no longer be able to participate in internal meetings and negotiations because it is not a signatory of the union contract or agreements of group.

To remain on the trade union front, it should be noted that at the end of May the Unisin national congress should renew the mandate of the general secretary Emilio Contrasto, supported by the professionalism of Sergio Mattiacci as well as by the Unisin managers of Florence and Milan. A few days ago, however, Riccardo Colombani was confirmed at the helm of First Cisl, while by the summer it’s the turn of Uilca, at the end of the year it’s up to Fisac ​​Cgil and next year to Fabi.


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