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BANKING

Intesa Sanpaolo to launch digital bank with four million existing clients

The launch of ISY Bank spearheads a new cloud-banking strategy at the Italian lender as it seeks to reduce costs, counter fintech and target international retail growth.

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Photo: iStock

Intesa Sanpaolo, Italy’s biggest retail bank, is the latest incumbent to try to turn itself into an international fintech challenger, with the launch of what it is fashioning as an in-house neobank.

The new digital bank – known as ISY Bank – is a central pillar of chief executive Carlo Messina’s new strategy for Intesa Sanpaolo, which was unveiled Friday.

Messina and an as-yet unnamed chief executive of ISY Bank will use the new digital bank’s brand and technology to reduce the group’s branch and IT costs by moving more than four million mostly younger Italian clients of Intesa Sanpaolo to the new organization.

After 2024, the aim is to gradually deploy ISY Bank’s cloud-based core-banking infrastructure to service Intesa’s remaining nine million Italian retail and small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) clients, who will remain under the old brand.

We are moving into a challenger mindset … This is something that can be really transformational
Carlo Messina, Intesa Sanpaolo. Photo: ECB
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Also then, ISY Bank could be a vehicle for new international retail growth, including launches in countries where the Italian bank is not yet active in retail.

Intesa’s