Civibank, a Spa perspective. «We want to be the bank of the Northeast». With Illy and Marchi- Corriere.it

Michela Del Piero, president of Civibank
Michela Del Piero, president of Civibank

He inherited the presidency of the Banca Popolare di Cividale del Friuli after the 44 years of management of Lorenzo Pelizzo, who left in 2014 with 450 million euros of non-performing loans. An enormity for a small credit institution, which risked collapse. After the brief presidency of Graziano Tilatti, one year, Michela Del Piero, 54, born in Gorizia, Udine by adoption, became president in 2015, in compliance with a governance which provides for the annual renewal of one third of the nine directors.

After the 2013 Bank of Italy inspection and the related sanctions, Del Piero, accountant, former regional councilor in the Illy council, launched an industrial restructuring and discontinuity plan, which avoided capital increases by selling some assets, discounting the impaired credits a little per year and still guaranteeing small profits brought to assets. Npls that had reached a 26.6 percent incidence fell to 9.4 percent. He also changed the name of the bank, transforming it into CiviBank and looks to a broader horizon, towards which also Enrico Marchi, president of Banca Finint, who is betting on CiviBank to occupy a space seems to converge retail which in the Northeast seems to be missing. Today, at the end of his second mandate, Del Piero proposes an epochal leap forward to the assembly of about 15,500 members called for April 12-14: the transformation of the company name, from a popular and cooperative institution to a joint stock company, without undergoing regulatory constraints. CiviBank, with less than 5 billion euros of assets, in fact far from the safety limit set at 8 billion euros for banks of this type.

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President Del Piero, who makes him do it?

We have restored a bank, bringing it back into profit. I could stop, or try to do something more. I believe that CiviBank has the ambition to grow, the Northeast is the economic engine of the country, but without the petrol represented by the banks no engine can run. So I believe that CiviBank can become a development platform for an area that we are expanding to the provinces of Venice, Treviso, Padua. We want to be a neighborhood bank for businesses and families, to play a role that is currently discovered and that will otherwise be occupied by others.

Okay, but the transformation into a joint stock company?

It fits into a broader vision. For years a part of the partners had been asking for it. But the priorities were other, solidity and profitability were our first attentions. Today the bank is ready to take the plunge and this transformation could be prodromal to a greater liquidity of the stock, which today travels around € 5.80 and traded on the MTF platform of the Italian Stock Exchange.

But aren’t you afraid of the risks of a transformation into a Spa?

I think that the new social form can attract new shareholders who, while respecting the autonomy of this bank, are able to form a hard core capable of giving a development perspective to CiviBank, sheltered from the polarizations of large groups.

He spoke of a larger project.

S. The new industrial plan provides for a capital increase, for which the board of directors has already received a proxy, up to a maximum of 65 million euros, entirely intended for development.

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Riccardo Illy sits on your council. Think of this kind of entrepreneur?

a hypothesis we are discussing for the good of the bank.

The assembly will necessarily be virtual. Aren’t you afraid of the risk of a low turnout?

We will do everything to facilitate participation in the vote. Also by setting up special urns within our 64 agencies.

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