1937: Banco di Napoli Albania founded in Tirana.
1945: Banco di Napoli Albania nationalized.
2006: Stake in Banca Italo-Albanese acquired by Sanpaolo IMI.
2007: Intesa Sanpaolo Bank Albania created through the merger of Banca Italo-Albanese and American Bank of Albania.
Italy always had numerous trade and economic interests in Albania, particularly in the infrastructure, energy and oil sectors; it also saw the country as a good place in which to fulfill its expansionist ambitions.
In terms of the banking industry, Banca Commerciale Italiana (BCI) was involved with the trade of Compagnia di Antivari (Antivari Company) goods through Albania as early as 1912, the year in which the country achieved its independence from the Ottoman Empire, and in 1914 was among the underwriters of a loan to the Albanian government.
BCI also took part in the initial negotiations on the creation of the National Bank of Albania. However, these had to be suspended during World War I and were wrapped up only in 1925, the year in which BCI, Banco di Roma and Credito Italiano finally co-founded the national bank. Italian capital was also involved in the 1925 founding of the Società per lo Sviluppo Economico dell'Albania (SVEA, or Company for the Economic Development of Albania).
Following the signing of a friendship pact between Italy and Albania in 1926, the latter became in effect an Italian protectorate, and after Italy occupied the country in 1939 it was made part of the Italian Empire as a separate kingdom under the sovereignty of King Vittorio Emanuele III.
The Banco Napoli subsidiary, Banco di Napoli Albania, was founded in 1937 at the invitation of the Italian government, which a year prior had already asked Banco di Napoli to finance the renovation of the port of Durrës. The bank set up offices in Tirana and Durrës, and undertook transactions in other areas of the country through branches of the National Bank of Albania.
In 1940, Istituto Mobiliare Italiano (IMI) entered into an agreement for the construction of a liquid hydrocarbon plant for the Selenicë mines.
Following huge losses incurred during World War II, Banco di Napoli Albania was nationalized in 1945.
In 2006 Sanpaolo IMI acquired control of Banca Italo Albanese and a year later that bank merged with Sanpaolo IMI's subsidiary, American Bank of Albania, to create the Intesa Sanpaolo subsidiary, Intesa Sanpaolo Bank Albania.
For information on BCI's loan to Albania: ASI-BCI, Ufficio Finanziario, cart. 27, fasc. 5; Segreteria Generale, cart. 31, fasc. 10
For information on the negotiations on the National Bank of Albania during the 1920s: Segreteria Generale cart. 33, fasc. 24