UniCredit 1870 – 2020. 150 years of history across our photographic archive

2:00 min

Thanks to the valuable work of our colleagues in the historical archives, we take a look at the most significant moments of our 150 years through unpublished images and contributions.

Our Group is the result of mergers that started in the 1990s with the acquisitions of important Italian and European banks. However, UniCredit’s successful journey began in Genoa in 1870 when a group of local shareholders, noblemen, bankers and merchants created the Banca di Genova.


In 1895, the merger with Banca Vonwiller generated the old Banca di Genova into Credito Italiano. In 1907 the bank’s headquarters were moved from Genoa to Milan to a new building in Piazza Cordusio.


Due to the consequences of the the Great Depression, the Institute for Industrial Reconstruction (IRI) became the share owner of 78% of Credito Italiano.

After WWII, UniCredit’s  predecessor banks lived a period of both expansion and innovation, with technological development becoming a crucial point for the banks.


In the 1980s, a banking system reform process aimed at increasing privatisation and competition was initiated. Credito Italiano seized many of the opportunities that this opening brought with it. In the 1990’s it  was developed into a "Multifunctional Group” and privatised, first among the IRI’s banks. After that, Credito Italiano/UniCredito Italiano faced several mergers and acquisitions from 1998 to 2007.


In 2008, a single brand for the bank was introduced as UniCredit.

UniCredit thus established a sizeable presence in Europe, following the largest cross-border aggregation in the euro area. Some of the firms acquired by UniCredit trace their historical roots back to the 15th century such as the Monte di Pietà di Bologna in 1473.


More insights can be found in the article published on the Eabh Bulletin, 2021, written by our Historical Archives team, at the following link: http://bankinghistory.org/wp-content/uploads/eabh_bulletin_2021.pdf

UniCredit’s Historical Archives, at the Lampugnano building in Milan, represent one of the most important sources of the Italian banking sector’s history and can be accessed by contacting: archiviostorico@unicredit.eu.