To our 149,000 shareholders


We will continue to be who we are, proud of who we are yet aware of how the world is changing, Our identity has been shaped over 150 years of history and we continue to interpret our mission:  a bank that does banking.
Whilst we respect the institutions and the regulations, we resist the tendency towards standardization in the certainty that trust and relational capital are just as important as the fundamental principles of economics, even more so for a bank such as ours which has always held trust and cohesiveness at the core of its institutional soul, gradually consolidating relations day after day in its dealings with the community

Sondrio, 1st January 2024

Dear Shareholder, Dear Friend,

First and foremost, sincere wishes for health and prosperity in 2024 . The New Year is a time for reflection, resolutions and plans.

Our thoughts stray to the wars in progress, the Russia-Ukraine conflict and in addition now the Israel-Palestine situation, not to mention the numerous other conflicts causing death and mass destruction. The guns did not even cease firing at Christmas.

In this context of alarming instability, the USA a world economic benchmark, recovered well after a poor start to the year registering a satisfactory increase in productivity. This impacted favourably on employment figures and brought about a healthy decrease in inflation. In contrast, China-the Asian colossal which is always under observation, lost significant ground in terms of production and consumption.

Following the increases in gas and oil prices caused by the worsening of the geopolitical situation and stock exchange speculation, the Eurozone was hit hard and despite a determined response, growth was, and has remained, weak. Among the countries experiencing greater difficulties was the traditionally robust Germany. Its economy has stagnated and the consequences on industry and exports have had a ripple effect across Europe and beyond

Italy faced this negative climate reasonably well thanks to its myriad of very small, small and medium sized businesses which, applying experience and a strong will to move forward have been able to adapt to the changing scenario. However, the phenomenon of shop closures continues. The Construction industry was aided by government action regarding the ‘ecobonus’ yet was faced with rising costs of raw materials due to increased energy prices. The real estate sector was negatively affected by the increase in interest rates. The fall in unemployment augers well, yet firms are struggling to find qualified personnel for key roles. It was a good year for tourism even though visitor numbers were below expectations. In this context, the GDP at end 2023 was up 0.7%. Although this was a somewhat modest increase and below forecasts, the result put Italy to the fore in Europe. Inflation was the scourge of the year and it was only in the closing stages of 2023 that the measures introduced by the European Central Bank began to show results which hopefully will continue. The spending power of the average household however has been drastically reduced.

In this difficult period of contrasting fortunes, The Banca Popolare di Sondrio has continued to work solidly with visible growth in characteristic banking operations- interest margins and commission. The management guidelines were well implemented by our qualified staff, in 2023 the Group welcomed 347 new employees. Regular training and updates enable our staff to advise clients on the numerous opportunities available, with reciprocal advantages. In terms of commitment and quality, the same must also be said for our subsidiaries, BPS (SUISSE), Factorit Spa and BNT-Banca della Nuova Terra Spa all of which ended the year positively with improvements in the balance sheets. Although still awaiting the final balance sheet details, the Bank is proud to announce that Group net profits for the year are significantly above the forecast of the current Industrial Plan, a fact that can only confirm its validity.

Moving on to capitalization, current data for 2023 places the bank among the sector leaders with values above and beyond those required by the Supervisory Authorities. More specifically, the Cet1 Ratio in September (phased-in values) stood at 16.27%, Tier 1 Ratio at 16.27% and the Total Capital Ratio at 18.84% thus putting the Bank in an excellent position to respond to the demand for credit, given the excellent liquidity.


    Asset quality remained high. Scrupulous attention was given to Lending and Receivables which were followed carefully step by step, day after day, in order to foresee and thus avoid unpleasant surprises. Monitoring has been our watch-word.

    This sound company progress and robust economic position has enabled the bank to extend its growth strategy in the north east of Italy with the opening of four new branches in San Donà di Piave (VE) Thiene (VI), branch N°1 in Vicenza and in Udine. This brings the total number of branches of the BPS to 356 located in the north of Italy and the Lazio region. To this total should be added the many treasury offices and the 22 BPS(SUISSE) branches giving a grand total of over five hundred points of operation able to satisfy the needs of even our most demanding clients.

    In the Bank’s traditional fashion, support and great attention has also been given to families, business and the many other economic operators that constitute the fabric of the real economy. We are aware of the importance of talking and listening to our clients in order to better comprehend their needs, share their projects and events, and add sustainability to each initiative.

    All departments have made significant contributions. The International Division promoted numerous opportunities for both national and international operators to meet and receive valuable assistance. The Retail Banking sector made its presence felt offering a wide variety of products, many innovative, aimed at fostering environmental sustainability. Bank insurance gained momentum with the various policies offered by Arca Vita, Arca Assicurazioni and Arca Vita Internazionale as well as those offered by UniSalute and the Unipol Group. Our I.T. Division, always up to date with the latest developments has supported the branch network with digital innovations providing the necessary directives for successful implementation and operation.

    Evaluation and inspection are never far away as we too periodically undergo audits by the rating agencies that base their assessments on our data, business model, ability to create market impact and to improve and to face unexpected unforeseeable situations. It should be remembered that the major agencies all issued good ratings; Scope Ratings, Fitch Ratings, Standard Ethics and DBR Morningstar who, on 13th November, at the end of the annual credit merit audit process informed the Bank not only of the confirmation of the previous positive assessment but also the improvement in the Trend, raised from “stable” to “positive”. For the second year running we were awarded the “MF Best ESG Rating Award 2023” having obtained the Standard Ethics rating of (EE), positive outlook. In addition, early in the year, the Bank was awarded the “MF Innovation Award 2023” for “new operational models”.

    On October 2nd, the publishers Economy Group awarded the Bank the prize “Forty plus years as a brand” having maintained its original brand and identity over the last forty years. In effect it should be noted that the BPS has maintained this status since its foundation on March 4th 1871.

    The Bank’s cultural agenda continued firstly with the four-monthly edition of the ‘Notiziario’, packed with articles on varying topics among which those relating to our habitat, to pollution and the anomalous global warming. On August 10th we welcomed the legendary mountaineer and climber of all the world’s fourteen ‘Eight Thousanders’ -Fausto De Stefani to the BPS events room in Bormio. De Stefani, both climber and humanitarian-environmental activist, spoke to a packed room about his mission in Nepal to aid the education and emancipation of the local people.

    As part of the “E’ cultura” festival organised by ABI and ACRI, on Saturday October 7th the BPS opened the doors of its headquarters and its Luigi Credaro library to the public with guided visits to appreciate the works of art and the vast quantity of library material stored there. The event included the “Festival of creative culture” which involved experts from the FEduF Foundation for Financial Education and Savings giving talks to local high school students on subjects such as the circular economy and responsible resource management.

    On December 5th we welcomed Carlo Cottarelli, director of the PESES (Education programme for the economic and social sciences) at The Sacro Cuore Università Cattolica for the presentation of his new book entitled ‘Chimere. Sogni e fallimenti dell’economia’ (Chimera-dreams and failures of the economy).

    The Bank has also been actively involved in sponsoring many other events linked to the environment, culture and sport. Among these were Sondrio Festival, (an international festival of documentaries on parks and protected areas) now in its 27th year. All participants in the event were given a copy of our publication ‘Habitat. Plants, men and animals: rights for the environment.’ From the Theatre ‘Teatro Sociale’ to the vineyards where we recall the ‘Valtellina Wine Trail’ a foot race in the Rhaetian Slopes which brings together athletes, sports and nature enthusiasts alike in a natural context to appreciate our fine wines and local products. This particular combination of enogastronomy and the beautiful Valtellina countryside provides a perfect backdrop to encourage inclusivity and social awareness especially in sport. Our support for the ‘Milanesiana’ was no less evident. This important event by Elisabetta Sgarbi during her stay in Valtellina culminated in the conference in the Sala Congressi in Bormio which focussed on the 1997 Nobel Prize Literature winner Dario Fo. Giullare del Popolo. The event was organised in collaboration with the Cultural Department of the Bormio local administration.

    Thanks to the Solidarity Current Account we have been able to donate sums to AISLA, UNICEF, AVIS, AIRC and ADMO.

    Dear Shareholder, dear Friend,

    Looking back at 2023 , another year goes into the archives as we face today remembering the past. Looking way beyond tomorrow to the future, we resist the temptation to stoke fears for what is to come, preferring to concentrate fruitfully on our present actions.

    This extensive horizon raises numerous challenges: we must distinguish between competitiveness and solidarity, personal initiatives and systemic action, innovation and tradition, triggering a virtuous process to adapt to changing scenarios. Strengthening the bond between the community we serve, perceiving its needs and habits is not only imperative for us but affords us a competitive edge which allows us to contribute to the development of quality ecosystems that are both resilient and sustainable. Our ambition is to be able to define ourselves as responsible economic and social players capable of creating innovation, producing wealth and widespread well-being for the current generations without compromising that of those to come.

    The vision we wish to pass on to the youth of today is to believe in yourself, get involved and look to the future. It is neither impossible nor that difficult , as long as one leaves room for what we are passionate about, then transform our ideas into concrete feasible projects. This can also be done here and now, without having to pack up our belongings and move far away.

    We will continue to be who we are, proud of who we are yet aware of how the world is changing, Our identity has been shaped over 150 years of history and we continue to interpret our mission: a bank that does banking.

    Whilst we respect the institutions and the regulations, we resist the tendency towards standardization in the certainty that trust and relational capital are just as important as the fundamental principles of economics, even more so for a bank such as ours which has always held trust and cohesiveness at the core of its institutional soul, gradually consolidating relations day after day in its dealings with the community.

    We thank you for your attention and express our gratitude for your support and trust. We look forward to the forthcoming AGM in the Spring and will be sending information about this in due course.

    In the meantime we hope that once the sound of gunfire has ceased, there will be room for peace and progress in respectful coexistence. Once again we offer our sincere wishes for the year that has just begun.

    With best wishes,


    CEO and General Manager
    (Mario Alberto Pedranzini)

    (Francesco Venosta)