1937: Banca Commerciale Italiana (BCI) representative office opened in Belgrade; it was closed in 1943.
1980: BCI representative office opened in Belgrade.
1992: Activities of BCI representative office in Belgrade suspended.
2000: BCI representative office in Belgrade re-opened.
2005: Majority stake in Delta Banka (now Banca Intesa Beograd) acquired by Banca Intesa.
Banca Commerciale Italiana (BCI) began doing business in Serbia as early as the 1920s, thanks in particular to the efforts of Giuseppe Volpi, a businessman who served as Italy's Finance Minister from 1925-28. At the time of the rapprochement between Italy and Yugoslavia that was sealed on 25 March 1937 through the Pact of Belgrade, Volpi suggested that BCI open a representative office in the Yugoslavian capital. BCI did so, but the office was closed following on 8 September 1943.
In 1947 Raffaele Mattioli, BCI's managing director, was asked to lead an economic delegation to Belgrade tasked with reaching a commercial agreement with Yugoslavia. Commercial relations between the two countries would continue over time, with Italian banks taking full advantage of them to promote business between the two countries.
It was only in the early 1980s, however, that BCI established a direct presence in the area, opening a representative office in Belgrade with jurisdiction over Yugoslavia as well as the job of handling relations with Bulgaria and Albania. Although it retained its license, its activities were suspended indefinitely in 1992. The office was re-opened in 2000, with BCI still the only Italian bank with a direct presence in the region.
A presence in Serbia was maintained over time by Banca Intesa, and later Intesa Sanpaolo, through their subsidiary Banca Intesa Beograd.