1907: Società Commerciale d'Oriente (Comor), a subsidiary of Banca Commerciale Italiana (BCI), founded.
1919: BCI branch opened in Istanbul.
1928: BCI branch opened in Smyrna (now İzmir).
1972: BCI representative office opened in Ankara.
1978: BCI branches in Istanbul and Smyrna (now İzmir) closed.
1995: Istituto Bancario San Paolo representative office opened in Ankara.
Banca Commerciale Italiana (BCI) and Turkey officially began their relationship in 1907 with the founding in Geneva, per the suggestion of Giuseppe Volpi and with BCI's support, of Società Commerciale d'Oriente (Comor; Eastern Trading Company). The aim of the company was to foster the financing of infrastructural projects and facilities as well as to gather information on and cultivate relations with the Ottoman Empire.
While Comor's headquarters were in Milan, it had offices in the Eastern Mediterranean region that carried out banking activities as well, including one in Istanbul. Directed by the engineer Bernardino Nogara, the Istanbul branch soon became Comor's most important; indeed, some historians consider it to be BCI's first international branch. The branch's activities would be hindered initially by the Italo-Turkish War that broke out between the Kingdom of Italy and the Ottoman Empire in 1911, and later by World War I, when the two states found themselves on opposite sides of the conflict.
Following the war, BCI decided to create a full branch in Istanbul in 1919 as part of its plan to expand further both in Europe and the Eastern Mediterranean. The new branch achieved such impressive results that by the early 1930s, thanks to its good relations with the Kemalist government and the steady confidence of its depositors, it had become Turkey's second largest bank in terms of turnover, following Banque Ottomane (Ottoman Bank). In the wake of this success, in 1928 BCI also opened a branch in Smyrna (now İzmir).
Although Comor was liquidated in the early 1930s, the two Turkish branches (which were later joined by three agencies in the Istanbul area) survived even after World War II. As time went on thereafter, BCI's only remaining foreign branches up through the late 1960s became too expensive and were closed in 1978. Prior to that, in 1972, BCI had opened a representative office in Ankara as well.
In 1991 Istituto Bancario San Paolo decided to open its own representative office in Istanbul, inaugurating it in 1995.
In 2015 Intesa Sanpaolo opened an Istanbul branch that reported to the Dubai hub; it is now the only Italian banking group to have a corporate branch operating in Turkey.