To our 163,000 Shareholders

 

On Wednesday June 29th at the Palazzo Mezzanotte in Milan we presented ‘Next Step’ i.e. our Industrial Plan for 2022-2025. These steps will be taken in the context of a commitment to do- and to do it well, to grow and grow well, to rise above the challenges of the marketplace and to satisfy the expectations of all stakeholders with whom we have publicly made a pact. We are a bank without adjectives: a bank that carries out its activities in a unique way. We have all that it takes to maintain our credibility and in saying so we take full responsibility.

Sondrio, 1st of July 2022

Dear Shareholder, Dear Friend,

Since the beginning of the year the pace of the world economy has slowed.
The reasons are many. Among the most important, the Omicron variant of the Corona Virus and then, from the second half of February, the conflict between Russia and Ukraine - an exceptional and unimaginable event.
In the first six months of the year, production in China increased although more slowly than expected. The Unites States economy slackened. Forecasts for current year growth in the Eurozone have fallen from 4.2% to 2.8% and galloping inflation is becoming a concern.
The European Central Bank has continued with its bond acquisition expansion policy for significant sums yet, as has been officially stated, the decision has been made to halt this strategy and to gradually raise interest rates.
Looking at Italy, production in the same period lost ground, impeded by a sharp increase in the price of raw materials, stagnant consumer activity and a fall in demand from abroad. An exponential increase in inflation also contributed negatively. With falling levels of virus contagion, the tourist industry recovered well, demonstrating once again its intrinsic capacity for regeneration. The outlook for the summer season looks positive with significant statistics in terms of tourist movement and substantial intensification in activities linked to the tourist industry.
Turning to our, your bank, first and foremost we remember the transformation from mutual company incorporated by shares into joint stock company approved on 29th December 2021 and the subsequent adoption of the new statute. Under the new format, on April 30th , in a single call, the Annual General Meeting was held in Sondrio at our head offices. Given the difficulties of which we are all aware, the meeting was held without the physical presence of the shareholders who were able to participate indirectly on the virtual platform expressing their wishes through their proxy delegate.
6,134 shareholders took part holding 48.29% of the share capital, this high number being evidence of the strong interest in the BPS. The balance sheet was approved by a large majority and dividend distribution was proposed at €0.20 per share.

  • READ THE LETTER

    The 2021 financial year was the best ever, closing with a net profit of €212.1 million compared to €75 million in 2020, an increase of 182.6% This result fittingly crowns the 150th anniversary of the foundation of the then ‘Banca Mutua Popolare.’
    The group net profit totaled €268.6 million compared to the €106.6 million of the previous year, up 152%. Positive performances from the subsidiaries, Banca Popolare di Sondrio (SUISSE), Banca della Nuova Terra Spa and Factorit Spa, the capital of the latter now being held totally by the BPS having acquired 39.5% from Banco BPM.
    The group closed the first quarter of the current year with a notable net profit of €40.3 million despite having had significant costs of €30 million linked to the stabilization of the banking system as well as net value adjustments of €27.3 million and the negative result of €16.5 million linked to Trading and Investment. Thus, ROE stands at 4.9% with a Cost-Income Ratio of 66.4% while the NPL Gross Ratio stands at 5.67%. The CET 1 Ratio of 15.32% places the BPS at the top of the banking system.
    The half year period which closed yesterday promises positive results despite the negative impact of Trading.
    In the Canton Ticino, the subsidiary SUISSE’s new branch of Manno opens today and July 4th sees the opening of a new branch of the BPS in Naples.
    Our habitual practice of listening to the needs of the community has allowed us to fulfill our vocation of gathering resources to re-invest locally in order to support social and economic development. Our International Service has been instrumental in complementing the core activity. The very name bears testimony to the growth over the years from what used to be simply the Foreign Sector. The International Service has organized seminars and meetings online as support and training for businesses operating or intending to operate in foreign markets. The Credit Department has provided the business community with various forms of financial support at favourable terms in line with the PNRR (National Recovery and Resilience Plan). One example of this is the support for the Fondo Impresa Femminile (Women’s Business Fund) The Commercial Department has paid particular attention to the launch of new products while the I.T. Division has continued to cater for the ever-increasing demands from branches and customers pursuing at the same time the objective of creating a digital ecosystem with important functional innovation. Of fundamental importance is the assistance given to our customers both in the branches and those intending to use our digital banking service SCRIGNOInternet Banking.
    The challenge today is indeed that of educating and accompanying our clients in the rapidly changing digital scenarios without neglecting the continued personal support given in the presence of customers, particularly those most in need. We see this as our mission to follow a principle of social responsibility, a service that many observers are noticing. It is therefore true to say that the entire company has performed its duties well, generating trust and ensuring continued efficient business practices.
    Focusing closely on the subject of sustainability and environmental protection we have oriented our loan policy and the financial investments of our customers. In this context, on March 14th 2022 the London-based company Standard Ethics Ltd raised its rating regarding the Bank’s long-term sustainability from ‘EE’ to ‘EE+’. In collaboration with Il Sole 24 ore the German company ‘Statista,’ specialized in the analysis of consumer and market data, listed the BPS among the ‘Sustainability Leaders’ i.e. the two hundred Italian companies most actively involved in the integration of ESG policies. In May of this year, the EBRD (European Bank for Reconstruction and Development) awarded the BPS the ‘Green Deal of the Year’ for its increasing commitment in facilitating the transition towards a ‘green economy’ in developing countries.
    The German credit rating company, Scope Ratings, confirmed the Issuer Rating of our Bank at Investment grade “BBB–“ and raised the outlook from ‘stable’ to ‘positive’ . This positive assessment comes after Scope Ratings ascertained that over the last two years the underlying financial structure of the Bank has been consolidated and the quality of its assets has significantly improved.
    In the context of the ‘MF Banking Awards 2022’ Milano Finanza, a daily financial newspaper, awarded the BPS two important prizes; the ‘Guido Carli Elite’ and the ‘Best Banks’ award. The former for the Banks ‘ strong links with the local area’ in its 150 year history and the latter for having recorded the ‘best one-year Stock Exchange performance in the sector’.
    An awareness of human hardship is the prerogative of whoever is part of a community and witnesses their neighbours’ suffering, both within and beyond our borders. Identifying itself in this awareness, the Bank willingly participated in the proposal from the ‘Fondazione Pro-Valtellina Onlus’ (the local branch of the ‘Cariplo Foundation’) to set up a public fund to finance projects to assist Ukrainian refugees arriving in the province of Sondrio. The special current account IT45H0569611000000043500X44 was opened with an initial 250 thousand euro of which 50 thousand euro was donated by the ‘Pro-Valtellina Foundation’, 75 thousand euro by the Banca Popolare di Sondrio and 125 thousand by the Cariplo Foundation.
    Our cultural programme continued not only with the publication of our ‘Notiziario’ containing outstanding articles from celebrated authors on important subjects such as Climate Change but also with the organization of conferences in the Sala Besta in Sondrio beginning on February 28th with the well-known economist Professor Carlo Cottarelli who returned to Sondrio after having been our guest in 2017. This latest conference focused on ‘Social and Economic Recovery’. The event was organized by the Sondrio Local Education Authorities with the collaboration both of our Bank and Arca SGR.
    March 5th saw the presentation in the ‘Magnifica Terra’ of Bormio of Gabriel García Márquez’s ‘One Hundred Years of Solitude’. The event, jointly organized with the Bormio Town Council Cultural Department , formed part of a series of events dedicated to Nobel Prize winners for literature. On April 1st in Lecco the art exhibition of Paolo Punzo’s ‘Mountains of Lombardy’ took place. Various paintings were also on show belonging to the BPS, the event’s ‘main partner’. Back in Bormio once again on May 7th, together with leading Provincial cultural associations, a historical linguistics conference was held in memory of Fr Remo Bracchi, distinguished academic from the ‘Università Pontificia Salesiana’ in Rome.
    These events underline the dialectic approach of a bank that is committed to subsidiarity and sees in culture a springboard to inclusiveness and economic progress.

    Dear Shareholder, Dear Friend,

    We leave behind us a complex semester in which unexpected events have overlapped. The precarious geopolitical balance, climate change and ever-changing technological developments have, so to speak, inverted the trend triggered by globalization.
    The succession of negative events spurs Man, often instinctively, to adapt and express an innate attitude to move forward. Moreover, periods of crisis aid and accelerate the process of change, fostering a courageous pursuit of new skills and further knowledge.
    In this search for a new equilibrium, the need to cultivate a path of sustainable development based on a sense of social responsibility has emerged forcefully. A path leading to a better future seeking a balance between labour and production, a path of awareness of the needs of the community and confidence in the future. We need to share and connect, a ‘modus operandi’ all too familiar for our Bank along the years.
    Our task is to comprehend contemporaneity whilst preserving those values that distinguish our Bank, facilitate transition without altering our identity and mission, move ever closer to a ‘digital humanism’ in which the supremacy of economics and knowledge make use of artificial intelligence, without succumbing to it, thus lending substance to a new measure of progress.
    And so we move within the present, pursuing our goals with determination. This is our present and it is from here that we move forward, constructing our future.
    On Wednesday June 29th at the Palazzo Mezzanotte in Milan we presented ‘Next Step’ i.e. our Industrial Plan for 2022-2025. These steps will be taken in the context of a commitment to do- and to do it well, to grow and grow well, to rise above the challenges of the marketplace and to satisfy the expectations of all stakeholders with whom we have publicly made a pact.

    We are a bank without adjectives: a bank that carries out its activities in a unique way. We have all that it takes to maintain our credibility and in saying so we take full responsibility.

    With kind regards and best wishes for the holiday season.

    Chief Executive Officer and General Manager
    Mario Alberto Pedranzini

    The President
    Francesco Venosta