1910: Banque Française & Italienne pour l'Amérique du Sud (Sudameris), in which Banca Commerciale Italiana (BCI) held a stake, founded.
1918: Banca Commerciale Italiana France (ComitFrance), later Sudameris France, a BCI subsidiary, founded.
1947: Banco di Napoli (BN) representative office opened in Paris.
1949: BCI representative office opened in Paris.
1962: Istituto Bancario San Paolo (IBSP) representative office opened in Paris.
1979: Cassa di Risparmio di Firenze representative office opened in Paris.
1981: Cassa di Risparmio delle Provincie Lombarde (CARIPLO) representative office opened in Paris.
1986: IBSP representative office transformed into a branch.
1988: BN representative office transformed into a branch.
1988: Stake in Compagnie Internationale de Banque (CIB), later Cariplo Banque e Banca Intesa (France) SA, acquired by CARIPLO.
1988: Stake in Banque Vernes et Commerciale de Paris, later Banque Sanpaolo, acquired by IBSP.
1994: BN branch transformed into a representative office.
2004: Sanpaolo IMI representative office opened in Paris.
In 1910 Banca Commerciale Italiana (BCI) and Banque de Paris et des Pays-Bas (Paribas) founded Banque Française & Italienne pour l'Amérique du Sud (Sudameris) in Paris. The French, eager to expand their financial operations throughout South America, needed a bank operating with the support of the numerous Italian émigré communities who had settled there, while BCI sought the support of the wealthy Parisian market and a share of the foreign exchange transactions and movement of funds guaranteed by the Brazil Railway Company, Compagnies Nord-Ouest du Brésil et 'Trafer', the Société de Construction des Batignolles and many other French port and railway franchise projects in South America.
Thus Sudameris' operations revolved much more around that region than France, where it kept its headquarters. But BCI decided it also needed a stable presence throughout France. In 1918, due to fiscal issues impeding the creation of a branch in Marseilles, the bank decided to set up a subsidiary, Banca Commerciale Italiana France (ComitFrance), which subsequently opened several branches both in the Midi-Pyrénées region and in Morocco, at the time a French protectorate.
Following World War II Banco di Napoli set up a representative office in Paris in 1947 and BCI followed suit in 1949. Istituto Bancario San Paolo (IBSP) established its own presence abroad in the 1960s, with one of its first representative offices (1962) being set up in Paris as well. Cassa di Risparmio di Firenze and Cassa di Risparmio delle Provincie Lombarde (CARIPLO) entered France in 1979 and 1981, respectively.
Keen to play an important role in Italy's considerable commercial and trade transactions with France - by then its second most important commercial partner - by the end of the 1980s these banks had consolidated their presence there.
Aside from maintaining direct headquarters in France, they also acquired share parcels there. In 1987, IBSP, which had set up its own Parisian branch a year earlier, became involved with the privatization of Compagnie Financière de Suez, a French giant in the banking and financial sector with several banks and subsidiaries, including Banque Indosuez. A year later IBSP acquired a stake in Banque Vernes et Commerciale de Paris, whose name was later changed to Banque Sanpaolo.
In the same year CARIPLO, too, acquired a stake in Compagnie Internationale de Banque (CIB), later named CARIPLO Banque and Banca Intesa (France) SA, following the creation of Banca Intesa.
Also staying on in the Paris area were Banca Intesa and later Intesa Sanpaolo, which kept a branch there reporting to the London hub.