History of the UniCredit Group
While the banking group’s history dates back as far as 1473, the year in which Rolo Banca was created, the contemporary history of UniCredit Group begins with the merger of nine leading Italian banks, subsequent integration with the German HVB Group and, most recently, with the Italian Capitalia. In 1999, acquisition of Bank Pekao of Poland launched the Group’s expansion (at that time, under the name UniCredito Italiano) into Central and Eastern Europe (CEE). Growth continued over the next few years with purchase of the Pioneer Investments Group, the subsequent formation of Pioneer Global Asset Management, and then further strategic acquisitions gradually carried out in Bulgaria, Slovakia, Croatia, Romania, the Czech Republic and Turkey.
In 2005, UniCredit merged with the German group HVB, which had itself been formed in 1998 by the joining of two Bavarian banks: Bayerische Vereinsbank and Bayerische Hypotheken-und Wechsel-Bank. The result was a single, major European bank. Integration with the HVB Group – reinforced by its own merger in 2000 with Bank Austria Creditanstalt, which was strongly represented in many areas of post-communist “new” Europe – creating a basis for UniCredit Group to continue strengthening its European focus.
By merging in 2007 with Capitalia, the third-largest Italian banking group, UniCredit Group further consolidated and strengthened its position in one of its most important markets, Italy. Capitalia had been established in 2002 from the integration of two previously independent entities, the Bancaroma group (itself the result of a merger between some of the oldest Roman banks: Banco di Santo Spirito, Cassa di Risparmio di Roma and Banco di Roma) and the Bipop-Carire Group.
With its balance sheet results ranking among the top financial groups in Europe, UniCredit has a direct presence in 17 countries as well as representative offices in 50 other markets, with over 40 million clients, more than 8,500 branches and some 147,000 employees.