Our First Five Years

Written by  Silvio Carletti
Our brief history, and how the inheritance handed down from the Cassa represents a guarantee for the future of Ferrara.
In the winter of 1838, a group of worthy citizens founded the Cassa di Risparmio di Ferrara.
Permission to go ahead was received from the Papal State on 5 May 1839 and over the days that followed two notices were posted at strategic points throughout the city: one regarded the regulations governing the activities of the Cassa; the other concerned the distribution of subsidies for «wretched persons worthy of public charity».

Right from the start, therefore, there was a clear commitment to the creation of an efficient bank that was also an organization with close links to the area and one aware of the needs of the socially disadvantaged. Indeed, the regulations established that the company should not seek any private gain whatsoever while profits were to be shared out among depositors or public charities.

The success of the Cassa di Risparmio di Ferrara derives largely from its administrators' capacity - in all circumstances - to ensure that the company remained an expression of local culture, understood in the widest sense of the term, as well as an attentive interpreter of the community's need and desire for progress.

This brief description of the original purposes and ends of the Cassa di Risparmio should serve to explain where we came from and what objectives we intend to pursue in the future. The Fondazione came into being following the juridical reorganization of the Italian banking system.
Following these reforms, the Cassa di Risparmio di Ferrara was divided into two distinct bodies: the Cassa spa, a profit making limited company engaged in banking; and the Fondazione, which holds the shares of the banking company and, as it retains the institutional structure of the original Cassa di Risparmio di Ferrara, carries on working towards the public interest and social utility.

Today, the Fondazione holds about 77 per cent of the shares in the Cassa di Risparmio di Ferrara spa and it has a statutory commitment to art and culture, scientific research and teaching, health and the provision of assistance to the less fortunate sections of society.

The principal aim of the Fondazione is to promote human resources in the Ferrara area, given that people are the primary resource of any community. Proof of this is to be found in the creation of study grants, the financing provided for the setting up of new university faculties and research in fields ranging from health to the many branches of knowledge in which our University offers courses.

We are also working hard to propose ourselves as a kind of socio-cultural development agency able to encourage and promote those individuals and organizations that further civil and cultural development. Now we are trying to graft another goal onto our financial commitment: rather than limit ourselves to serving as an auxiliary to the State and other bodies, we are trying to add a new, independent dimension to our activities in an attempt to respond to the needs of the people of Ferrara.

In this section of the magazine you will find a description of some of the initiatives in which we are most deeply involved: we feel we ought to stress that these activities have never been the result of isolated minor agreements, but are instead the fruits of a wide ranging project whose goal is the welfare and development of Ferrara and its citizens.

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