Internationalisation is a key factor and an indispensable engine for business growth.

In 2015, the Bank has further expanded its presence abroad through the opening of business units in the countries with which Italy is the primary trading partner: a subsidiary was established in Brazil, based in Sao Paulo and a Representative Office in Washington and a Private branch in London were opened. Intesa Sanpaolo's branch in Istanbul, open in 2014, is now fully operational.

Intesa Sanpaolo has a dedicated structure, the Internationalisation Office based in Padua, which aims to facilitate and promote access to foreign markets for Italian companies. A team of professionals divided into five geographic desks work to support business managers and specialists of Banca dei Territori, to provide companies with qualified and timely advice. Among the activities implemented in 2015, worth mentioning are: 50 events with the participation of about 3,000 companies; 3 new regional agreements, entered into in agreement with the Regional Departments and in close cooperation with trade associations, chambers of commerce and other institutional bodies; a continuous presence at Expo Milano 2015 to support events with Italian and foreign operators; about 700 meetings with customers from the geographic Desks associated with internationalisation projects in the various markets; assistance to some 100 foreign companies for incoming activities; 7 new agreements within the scope of the Open Horizons project1 which currently, with 44 partner Banks, covers 77 countries and hence integrates the possibilities offered by the international network of Intesa Sanpaolo, already present in over 40 countries.

For large companies, teams of specialists in Italy and abroad work alongside the relationship managers, offering qualified consulting service in the cross-border growth processes. A dedicated team supporting the internationalisation of companies analyses the foreign potential markets, opportunities for growth and partnerships in the new area in order to assist companies right from the beginning of their development and investment process.

Expo

Intesa Sanpaolo was Official Global Partner of the World Trade Exhibition, Expo 2015. In terms of services, the Group provided the organisers of Milan, Italy, the participating countries and the tens of millions of visitors from around the world with innovative electronic payment instruments, thereby making a real contribution to the Smart City experience. In particular, the EXPO Flash Card was created, of which 60,000 were distributed; it is a prepaid card where it was possible to load the admission ticket. The Group also provided the ticketing platform and an articulated distribution network consisting of the physical network and direct channels, which together allowed the issuance of 650,000 tickets, as well as the financing of the company Expo SpA and treasury services for Participating Countries and organisers. The volume of transactions carried out through the branch and ATMs in the exhibition site was equal to 130 million euro.

Intesa Sanpaolo's commitment was reflected within the Expo area with a multifunctional space visited by over 700,000 people. The Bank's Pavilion “The Waterstone” was enlivened with educational activities for the youth, entertainment for children, shows and laboratories as well as a series of meetings dedicated to social, art and cultural aspects, and numerous artistic performances organised with Group partners. There were more than 110 cultural events produced by the Bank which had as their central theme the concept of sharing, i.e. sharing experiences, emotions and stories capable of generating value both for families and businesses.

The business events were particularly relevant: with the “Ecco la mia impresa” (Here's my business) initiative, 530 companies and 35 innovative start-ups, of different sizes and business sectors, but sharing the same quality production, attention to sustainability and a business success story, were the key players of events and presentations targeted at the Expo audience, current and potential customers and international buyers. Examples of the Made in Italy quality, the hosted companies were selected by the Bank in the various territories and within the scope of the product sectors related to the Expo themes (Food, Fashion, Design and Hospitality), and involved over 3,000 Italian and international companies for business meetings. Intesa Sanpaolo also made available to companies a financial support consisting of a credit line of 15 billion euro.

Thanks to an independent editorial staff, the Bank worked on all of its traditional and non-traditional communication channels, spreading images, videos, news and testimonials. Over 1 million views were recorded on the dedicated website expo.intesasanpaolo.com @ where visitors were able to share, even outside the pavilion, experiences, ideas and success stories; +450% fanbase on the Facebook page, 112 videos on Youtube with over 15 million views, more than 4,500 articles on media and media organisations and dozens of television and radio services.

1 The project involves partnerships with correspondent banks in foreign countries where the Intesa Sanpaolo Group does not operate directly for the provision of preliminary and specific advisory services, within the regulatory framework and in the context of basic banking services.