Fewer and fewer banks: 41 municipalities without branches

Fewer and fewer banks: 41 municipalities without branches

CREMONA – Banks are less and less present in municipalities while digital is not taking off yet, with Italians continuing to prefer physical branches to those via the internet. In fact, in less than ten years, Italian institutions have closed 11,231 branches in 3,062 municipalities. Out of a total of 58.9 million Italians, more than 4 million (4,131,416) citizens live in areas where banks are absent, equal to 7% of the total population. To do the accounts the Italian Autonomous Banking Federation (Fabi) which crossed the statistical data of the Bank of Italy and Istat.

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In the province of Cremona, the largest municipality by population (1,946) where at least one branch is missing is Izanoin Cremasco, which ‘opens’ a group of 41 entities under the same conditions.

And then I remember (1,770) and Lombard pond (1,570), where the Banca Popolare branch closed some time ago, a few steps from the town hall. Followed by countries that gradually decrease in population until they reach under a thousand inhabitants, from Motta Baluffi (980), up to Derovere (300).

The map demonstrates how both the northern area of ​​the territory and the southern area (that is to say Cremasco and Casalasco) have the highest concentration of non-branch countries. Around the capital, on the other hand, the number decreases, i.e. there are few municipalities where there is no bank.

TO Bonemerse, in 2015, the branch originally of the Banca Provinciale Lombarda was closed, then passed to Intesa San Paolo. “Unfortunately this closure – he explains the mayor Luca Ferarrini – also involved the elimination of ATMs. One of the objectives of the administration that I lead, which took office in 2019, was to bring the ATM back to town: we succeeded thanks to a tenacious commitment and to Poste Italiane which, at the end of 2021, installed the postamat in a nearby municipal property. at the post office”.

Also to Gabbioneta Binanuova And Scandolara Ripa d’Oglio saw the closure of the ‘country’ branches of the Cassa Padana. “It happened when I was still deputy mayor – he explains the first citizen Antonio Bonazzoli – and a very useful service for the community has failed ”.

Also the mayor of Scandolara Angiolino Zanini he explains: «In our country there was a treasury office open two days a week at the head of the branch in Seniga, which is three kilometers away from us. An essential service especially for the elderly, a local point of reference. For this reason, after closing, many moved to the post office, which in any case guarantees an opening three days a week ».

In the end the mayor of Cicognolo Angelo Bergamaschi, which saw the closure of the branch a few years ago, explains «Fortunately, thanks to the active collaboration with Banca Popolare, we were able to keep the ATM in town. Surely the closure was a hard blow, but with the maintenance of this service we have tried to continue maintaining a service to citizens and the territory ».

The social role that the banks are “progressively losing, also through a progressive disengagement on the territories, with indiscriminate closures, is a topic that cannot be underestimated by political parties”, says the secretary general of Fabi Lando Maria Sileoni.

According to Fabi’s analysis, the percentage of people without a bank branch in their place of residence shows marked differences on a geographical basis: if desertification affects 6% of the population in the North, the phenomenon is more limited in the Center (3.2 %), while in the South and in the islands, where the issue is much more pronounced, ‘bankless’ citizens represent 10.7% of residents.

In the detail of the territories it emerges that Campania is the first region for the number of inhabitants without branches (700 thousand). Among the larger regions, the one with the lowest presence in percentage terms is Calabria with 28.8% of citizens residing in areas not covered by agencies. Followed by Piedmont (13.8%), Abruzzo (12.6%), Campania (12.5%). Among the smaller regions, the record is Molise (37.3%) followed by Valle D’Aosta (33.4%). In the islands, desertification affects 6.7% of the population in Sicily and 6.1% in Sardinia. The absence of bank branches in the small and medium-sized centers of the country also runs the real risk of “removing businesses and families from the legal circuit of finance and credit,” adds the secretary of Fabi.

Over the years, the number of credit institutions has also contracted sharply, from 706 in 2012 to 456 in 2021, with a cut of over 45,613 employees in ten years. In this context, despite the acceleration on digital by the banking system, Italy is still lagging behind in Europe, with 45% of the population preferring e-banking to banking services in the physical branch.


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