1973: Banca Commerciale Italiana (BCI) representative office opened in Madrid.
1984: BCI representative office in Madrid transformed into a branch.
1985: Cassa di Risparmio delle Provincie Lombarde (CARIPLO) representative office opened in Madrid.
1986: Istituto Bancario San Paolo (IBSP) branch opened in Madrid.
1989: Stake in Banca Jover acquired by CARIPLO.
1989: Cassa di Risparmio di Firenze representative office opened in Madrid.
1990: BCI branch opened in Barcelona.
1990: Banco di Napoli (BN) branch opened in Madrid.
1990: Stake in Banco de Ibiza, later Banco Sanpaolo SA (Ibiza), acquired by IBSP.
1991: CARIPLO representative office in Madrid transformed into a branch.
1991: BN representative office opened in Barcelona.
1991: Stake in Banco Català acquired by IBSP.
1995: BCI loan production office opened in Valencia.
1997: Stake in Banco de Ibiza, later Banco Sanpaolo SA (Ibiza), transferred to Caja de Ahorro.
2003: Sanpaolo IMI representative office opened in Barcelona.
Banca Commerciale Italiana (BCI) first established a presence in Spain in 1973, opening a representative office in the capital city. After the Spanish government modified regulations prohibiting foreign banks from opening branches in the country, BCI requested authorization to transform its office into a branch; this was done in 1984. A few years after opening its own representative office in Madrid in 1985, Cassa di Risparmio delle Provincie Lombarde (CARIPLO) sought to consolidate its presence in the country in 1989 by acquiring a stake in Banco Jover from Banco Santander in exchange for its own stake in Istituto Bancario Italiano (IBI).
After letting go of its stake in Banca Jover (just two years later, in 1991), CARIPLO re-assessed its presence in Spain, transforming the Madrid representative office into a branch and passing a resolution to open another one in Barcelona; however, it was never actually set up.
Spain was an ideal partner for Italy in the Mediterranean region; after entering the European Economic Community (EEC) in 1986, the country saw steady economic growth, especially in Catalonia, the country's key industrial center, where numerous Italian companies kept offices (including Fiat, Pirelli, Montedison, Olivetti, Angelini and Zegna). It was here, in Barcelona, that in 1990 BCI would open an agency reporting to its Madrid branch. A year later, in 1991, Istituto Bancario San Paolo (IBSP) acquired a stake in Banco Català, which in 1994 would be incorporated into Abel Matutes Torres-Banco de Ibiza, in which IBSP had held a stake since 1990.
In 1990 and 1991 Banco di Napoli, too, opened a branch in Madrid and a representative office in Barcelona, respectively.
Given the positive experience had by its two Spanish branches, BCI decided to bolster its presence in the country with a third office in the Valencia region, another major industrial center; in 1995 the bank set up a loan production office in the city of Valencia that reported to its Madrid branch.
In 2003, the Sanpaolo IMI Group opened its own representative office in Barcelona. The office's activities would continue with the creation of Intesa Sanpaolo and its Madrid branch, which reported to the London hub.