It will happen to some Tuscans, next Monday, April 12, to go to the bank and find the counter closed. Closed forever. This is the long wave of the acquisition by Intesa Sanpaolo (Isp) of Ubi, which now also becomes operational throughout the branch network. Some have been sold to Bper. Many others have passed through the already supplied Intesa network. And consequently the former branches that geographically overlap with those already present at ISP in the same square, in the same street or in the vicinity, are merged. The result is a flurry of closure from Monday 12 April.
In some branches destined to remain closed as early as next week, no notice on the window, but customers – assures Banca Intesa Sanpaolo – have already been notified by personal letter. Because together with the physical move from one branch to another neighbor, customers will see their Iban changed: also in this case – claims the Bank – customers are notified and the change of domicile will take place automatically without particular problems for ordinary cases. Just as the validity of credit and debit cards continues. The staff is also grappling with the migration of IT systems, yet another for Ubi employees and customers, who have already faced the recent transition from Banca Etruria to the Bergamo-based bank now incorporated by the super institute led by CEO Carlo Messina.
But how many branches are there in Tuscany that disappear by incorporation? Not a few. In total there are 41 who definitively lower the counter because they merge into another nearby agency, especially Intesa Sanpaolo (which in some cases, rarely, closes the Isp counter to the advantage of the neighboring Ubi). For 35 branches, the closure has been operational since Monday 12 April, while for another 6 the activity will continue at a reduced rate pending the amalgamation which should take place by June. To these is added a definitive closure in the province of Arezzo.
In Florence there are 6 branches that close and gather in a single physical space of the nearby agency. It happens in piazza Beccaria and in via Aretina. The Ubi branch in via delle Panche also closes and is merged with that of Intesa Sanpaolo in viale Morgagni; Ubi closes in via dei Banchi to the advantage of Isp in via Bufalini; Ubi closes in via di Novoli and moves to Intesa Sanpaolo in via Carlo Magno; Ubi lowers the shutters forever in viale Gramsci and moves operations to ISP in viale Matteotti. The branch in via dei Banchi, which closes, was, among other things, the historic headquarters of the Banca del Vecchio furnished in the style of early twentieth century banking halls, with furnishings of particular value. Combinations with relative closure of a branch also in Scandicci, Sesto, Pontassieve, Montelupo and Figline, while the Ubi branch in Vinci closes, which joins the Isp branch of Empoli in via Pievano Rolando.
In total, about seventy Ubi branches in Tuscany have moved to Intesa Sanpaolo. A particular case is in the province of Arezzo, as a consequence of the strong concentration of branches, but also of central services, in this area which was the stronghold of Banca Etruria which was once taken over by Ubi Banca. “After eighteen Ubi branches passed to Bper Banca on 22 February, at the end of this week it will be the end – also in the province of Arezzo, as in all of Italy – of Ubi Banca”, says Fabio Faltoni, provincial secretary coordinator of Fabi (Italian Autonomous Banking Federation), the first trade union in Italy in the banking sector. “In fact, the remaining sixteen branches of Ubi will open on 12 April under the Banca Intesa Sanpaolo brand. To tell the truth, of these sixteen, eight will be merged with the ISP counterparts, a small counter will close and the other seven will remain autonomous, adding to the approximately thirty already Intesa Sanpaolo. Almost one hundred employees of the Ubi branches are affected by this step, to which are added the more than three hundred employees of the headquarters in Via Calamandrei (including, in this issue, the abundant hundred of Ubiss – Ubi Sistemi e Servizi, a company that will also ‘it incorporated in Isp). Lights and shadows, from this first phase of the “new” Intesa Sanpaolo in our province. We certainly do not appreciate the mergers of the branches, especially as we are still in full health emergency, mergers that – among other things – make most of the historic former BancaEtruria agencies disappear, while we are satisfied in having managed to keep the offices of the territorial pole (former general management of Etruria) of Via Calamandrei, which had already been well valued by Ubi, and equally satisfied to see the company Ubiss – Ubi Sistemi e Servizi, well present also by us, internalized in Isp. Now, while trade union negotiations are still in progress regarding the integration of the company contracts of the two banks, a strong and lasting support and training project is needed for workers who come from Ubi, as well as their evident enhancement “.