The oldest surviving bank in the world is Banca Monte dei Paschi Dei Siena S.p.A. in Italy. According to a research by Ricerche e Studi using data of 2014, It is the third largest Italian commercial and retail bank by total assets. The bank is struggling to avoid a collapse since the end of 2016. This bank is operating ever since it was founded by the magistrates of the state of Siena, Italy in 1472 as a “mount of piety”.The bank at the time of its foundation was known as Monte dei Paschi di Siena. In 1995, it was transformed from a statutory corporation to a limited company called Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena (Banca MPS). TO continue the charitable functions of the bank, The Fondazione Monte dei Paschi di Siena was created and this foundation was the largest single holder of the bank until its bailout in 2013. Today Banca MPS has approximately 2,100 branches, 26,000 employees and 5.3 million customers in Italy, as well as branches and businesses abroad.
The bank began an intense phase of commercial and operational expansion after making debut in Italian Stock Exchange. Some regional banks like Banca Agricola Mantovana and Banca del Salento were acquired and Banca Toscana was also absorbed. In 2003, for €411.2 million, Cassa di Risparmio di Prato was sold to Banca Popolare di Vicenza. With and aim of improving the level of assistance and consultancy, bank decided to upgrade its commercial productivity at the same time. Bank updated activities in private banking and pension plans.The bank implemented a vast program with more than 2,000 new branches.
An art collection and many priceless historical documents spanning centuries were hosted by the bank at their headquarters in the Palazzo Salimbeni in Siena. This collection is not open to the public. A gold-plated panel by Segna di Bonaventura is the most recent acquisition, costing nearly one million Euro. The bank is also a primary sponsor of Italian basketball club Mens Sana Basket of Siena.
The bank, in 2010, was funding the expansion of Siena-Ampugnano Airport to become an international airport. International and local groups, Both had raised objections citing the harm to the natural beauty of the area, the environment and the attraction to tourism. Main shareholders of Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena are Fintech Investments (4.500%), Ministry of Economy and Finance (Italy) (4.024%), AXA (3.170%), and Classic Fund Management AG (2.008%).