The Fondazione and Cassa di Risparmio di Ferrara

Written by  Mario Pirani
The Fondazione of the Cassa di Risparmio di Ferrara is a non-profit-making public body and the majority shareholder in the Cassa di Risparmio di Ferrara spa. By statute, the Foundation uses the proceeds deriving from the management of its own assets to support worthy causes ranging from the promotion of scientific research, education, health, and sport, to charitable activities aimed at safeguarding the welfare of the weakest social groups.

The Foundation thus serves as an adjunct to the State and, by so doing, makes a contribution that is often of fundamental importance to the realization of projects and research of a high degree of usefulness. In this, however, the Foundation is no different to another 80 similar bodies engaged in analogous activities elsewhere in Italy.

What does distinguish the Ferrara Foundation is its firm intention to eschew the widespread habit of distributing indiscriminate financial aid and subsidies in favour of an organic policy aimed at involving a large number of operators in well defined, large-scale projects.
The Foundation therefore constitutes a point of reference for all activities going on in the city or in the surrounding province, where it stimulates and speeds up the initiatives undertaken by other institutions, such as local government, professional and voluntary bodies, and the university.
The Cassa di Risparmio di Ferrara recently celebrated its one hundred and fiftieth year in business. Today, following the purchase of the Banca di Credito Agrario di Ferrara (BCA) it has confirmed its status as local market leader, with a market share of 42% of deposits and 34% of loans. In terms of volume, loans amount to approximately 880 million dollars divided between industry and trade, the greater part of which is provided by small to medium-sized businesses, especially family-run concerns. Deposits amount to approximately 1,633 million dollars.

The acquisition of the BCA, although it involved shouldering a considerable economic burden, nonetheless represents an investment in the future growth of the Cassa di Risparmio, which can now count on a dimension better suited to current market conditions, without jeopardizing its own particular nature as a local bank bound by strong links to a clientele of small savers, and an outstanding commitment to the support of small- and medium-sized businesses, as well as assistance in the productive and commercial development of the farming sector.