When a new branch opens for business, it usually reflects both confidence in the local economy and a long-term financial commitment to individuals and business. Notwithstanding the economic slowdown around the world, many of the Group’s retail-banking subsidiaries are in an expansive mood and boosting their branch networks. BNL in Italy, for instance, aims to open 200 new branches in the three years to 2012, which represents a rate of six new branches a month.
The bank has also come up with an idea that reflects its commitment to the community while at the same time helping the environment: wherever BNL opens a new branch, it will donate a tree to the local municipal council for every account opened at the branch during the first six months of operation. The result: new or improved green spaces and parks dotted around the town.
Each tree-planting is an occasion to celebrate the links that BNL is forging in the community. One of the more poignant ceremonies took place in April in L’Aquila, the city in central Italy that was devastated by an earthquake in 2009. The tree-planting in L’Aquila brought together BNL personnel, representatives from community associations and the municipal council as well as local schoolchildren who will record the trees’ growth as part of their studies. A little more than a year after the earthquake, conditions in L’Aquila have improved significantly and reconstruction efforts continue, but life is not yet back to normal. Stefano Calderano, head of Retail and Private Banking, said “the opening of our new branch, together with this initiative to increase the greening of public spaces, are part of BNL’s contribution to the renewal of the city’s economy”. The bank’s tree-planting campaign is a visible, lasting and eco-friendly sign of the bank “putting down roots” in communities across the country. The initiative will really take off in the autumn—the best time for planting.
Source: Ambition Magazine