More than 4 million Italians do not have a bank in their municipality of residence. This is what emerges from an investigation by the Italian Autonomous Banking Federation (Fabi) that crossed the statistical data of the Bank of Italy and Istat updated at the end of 2021.
The total number of Italians who do not have a bank branch reside in 3,062 municipalities. Of a total of 58.9 million citizens, 4,131,416 live in areas where there are no banks, which is equivalent to 7% of the total population.
The percentage of people without a bank branch in their place of residence, according to Fabi’s analysis, shows marked geographical differences: if in the North banking ‘desertification’ affects 6% of the population, in the Center the phenomenon is more limited ( 3.2%), while in the South and on the islands, where the problem is much more pronounced, ‘bankless’ citizens represent 10.7% of residents. Campania is the first region in terms of the number of inhabitants without a bank (700 thousand). Among the largest regions, the one with the lowest presence of credit institutions, in percentage terms, is Calabria with 28.8% of citizens residing in territories not covered by agencies. Next: Piedmont (13.8%), Abruzzo (12.6%). Among the smaller regions, the record is Molise (37.3%) followed by Valle D’Aosta (33.4%). On the islands, ‘desertification’ affects 6.7% of the population in Sicily and 6.1% in Sardinia. “The social role that banking is gradually losing, also through a progressive disengagement from the territories, with indiscriminate and unacceptable closures of banking agencies, is an issue that cannot be underestimated by political parties.” This was stated by Fabi’s general secretary, Lando Maria Sileoni, on the analysis of ‘bank desertification’ in Italy. “It is serious -he adds- that few within the political class are interested in this problem. The reduction of branches is causing and will cause considerable damage to the country and to customers. I am referring, in particular, to the elderly, who are unaware of digital tools and with those who live in the South, where not only is the phenomenon of the closure of bank branches more marked and worrying, but also due to an evident problem of internet access, so the inevitable consequences also pose an economic issue with a sudden change in the business model, all focused on the sale of financial and insurance products and little or nothing, in the granting of loans, mortgages and credits in general, the concrete risk of removing both companies and families from the legal sphere. circuit of finance and credit. Ours represents, therefore, an obvious alarm because the sector represents an essential public service”.
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