Rome, August 2. (askanews) – “Ubi, remaining alone, would not have been able to face the tough competition that awaits the banking world”. In an interview with Repubblica on the merger between Intesa Sanpaolo and Ubi, banker Giovanni Bazoli, president of Intesa Sanpaolo, underlines this. “It is not for me to approve or ‘bless’ this operation in which I have not participated. I merely observe – adds Bazoli – that it is in the interest of Italy. We need a strong, very strong Italian bank, and this recognition by of European supervision allows Italy to play a game in credit in a prominent position; a position that unfortunately in other sectors in our country is not recognized “.
No active role in the project for the exchange offer on Ubi, explains Bazoli: “On this I want to clarify immediately: I did not participate in the study and the elaboration of this operation at all. Intesa Chief Executive Officer Carlo Messina announced the launch of the offer on the night of February 17 with a phone call, after doing the same with his Ubi counterpart, Victor Massiah. I was at home, in Brescia, when I received the call from Messina. I was very impressed by the news, but I shared immediately the choice of the bank’s top management to keep me out of the operation “.
According to Bazoli “Ubi lost his golden opportunity in 2015, when he first adapted to the People’s Reform law, transforming into a Spa. Then he could have been the pivot of a third banking center, making use of its advantages : the settlement area, a cohesive shareholder base, a large and loyal customer base. Instead of remaining stand-alone, it has become a hybrid: unnecessarily large in Italy, too small in Europe. With a strong risk of becoming soon prey to This is the best solution for Intesa Sanpaolo to Ubi members, which they eventually accepted plebiscite.