Over 4 million Italians do not have a bank in their municipality of residence. This is what emerges from a research by the Italian Autonomous Banking Federation (Fabi) which cross-referenced 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 branch of a credit institution reside in 3,062 municipalities. Out of a total of 58.9 million citizens, 4,131,416 live in areas where banks are absent, equal 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 differences on a geographical basis: 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 issue is much more pronounced, ‘bankless’ citizens represent 10.7% of residents. Campania is the first region in terms of 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. Following: Piedmont (13.8%), Abruzzo (12.6%). Among the smaller regions, the record is Molise (37.3%) followed by Valle D’Aosta (33.4%). In the islands, ‘desertification’ affects 6.7% of the population in Sicily and 6.1% in Sardinia. “The social role that banks are gradually losing, also through a progressive disengagement in the territories, with indiscriminate and unacceptable closures of banking agencies, is an issue that cannot be underestimated by political parties”. This was stated by the secretary general of Fabi, Lando Maria Sileoni, about the analysis on ‘banking desertification’ in Italy. “It is serious – he adds – that few within the political class are interested in this problem. The reduction of branches is creating and will create considerable damage to the country and to customers. I am referring, in particular, to the elderly, who they are unfamiliar with digital tools and with those who live in the South, where not only the phenomenon of the closure of bank branches is more marked and worrying also due to an evident problem of access to the internet. The inevitable consequences therefore also raise 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, on the granting of loans, mortgages and credits in general. the concrete risk of removing both businesses and households from the legal circuit of finance and credit. Ours therefore represents an evident gr an alarm because the sector represents an essential public service “.