Awards for Excellence 2008: Italy
Best bank: IntesaSanpaolo
IntesaSanpaolo, now the largest bank in Italy by market share, is having better luck with its integration of recent acquisitions than rival UniCredit, which has hit problems with management issues in Sicily and disgruntled HVB minority shareholders.
Although IntesaSanPaolo’s performance has been hit by poor trading at its investment bank, which took a €110 million write-down on structured credit products in the fourth quarter of 2007, underlying performance looks good.
Excluding the trading loss and non-recurring items, the group is showing strong double-digit growth in its net interest income thanks to decent growth in its home market and strong growth internationally. Even the underlying performance of the corporate and investment bank is looking promising. Although net income before tax in the first quarter of 2008 was down 47.6%