Banca Nazionale del Lavoro (BNL), loyal servant to the Italian economy

1914-2015

Themes:

  • Banks & Financial Institutions
  • Sponsoring & Corporate Philanthropy
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During its one hundred years of providing banking services, BNL has become a major driver of Italy’s development.

In 1913, on the initiative of the Italian government, the Istituto Nazionale di Credito per la Cooperazione was founded with a mission to support the expansion of the cooperative movement in Italy. At a time when the Italian economy was still extremely rural in character and in need of industrialisation, the new financial institution provided tailored services to the agriculture and fisheries sectors and also financed the Italian movie industry.

Founding act of the bank, 1913

Founding act of the bank, 1913

 

In the mid-1920s the cooperative system encountered a serious crisis and the new bank had to be restructured. In March 1929 the Fascist government decided to transform the bank into a state-run entity, under the supervision of the Treasury, and gave it a new name: Banca Nazionale del Lavoro. BNL’s main business was providing loans and it achieved strong growth, especially in its international network.

After the Second World War, BNL played an active part in Italy’s economic reconstruction and was closely involved both in the growth of the film industry and automaker FIAT’s plans for modernisation. The bank also had a key role in the ‘Green Plan’ – i.e. the disbursement of loans under the Marshall Plan to promote agriculture and development in the south of Italy.

FESTA DEL CINEMA2011

BNL is partner of the Festival Internazionale del Film di Roma in 2011- BNL Historical Collections

 

By 1964, BNL had become the leading financial institution in Italy. However, its power waned with the slowdown in the economy during the 1970s.

Increasing competition, the process of bank sector liberalisation and the European drive towards open markets all led to structural reforms and to the eventual sale of BNL out of State hands: the bank was privatised in 1998.

In 2006, following a lightning operation which lasted just one week, BNP Paribas took control of BNL, thus making Italy BNP Paribas’ second ‘domestic’ market. By the time BNL celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2013 it had become a thoroughly modern bank.

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The personal data collected from the Site are subject to data processing by BNP Paribas to enable access to and use of the functionalities offered by the Site www.histoire.bnpparibas.
Pursuant to the French Data Protection Law No. 78-17 of 6 January 1978, you are entitled to access the data collected by BNP Paribas and to have it amended, updated or deleted, where such information is incorrect, incomplete or outdated. You can exercise this right by contacting: BNP Paribas – APAC TDC Val de Marne, TSA 30233- 94729 FONTENAY SOUS BOIS Cedex.

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Since 1822, history has made us a key player and a witness of transformations taking place in society and economy in Europe and around the world. We invite you to share in our story and explore our archives to learn more about our constantly changing world.
Jean Lemierre Jean Lemierre,
Chairman
of BNP Paribas