The 30th of July 1950,
to conform to the new rules of law, the company was changed into a
cooperative company property limited, the nominal value of the
shares was increased from 30 to 500 lire and the name modified again
Mutua Popolare di Bronte». It was also fixed to 99
years the duration of the company from 26th of May 1912 to 25th of
with caution and inspired to healthy principles, the ancient Agrarian Bank
became in a short while a powerful factor of
social-economic growth for the small town at the feet of Etna.
the spirit of cooperation” performed its credit activity oriented to
welfare, always “seriously and honestly” and always ready to
“favor, whenever possible, the needs of all economic operators,
applying rates inferior to what was commonly charged by other credit
Could be said that in favor of Bronte and of its poor local economy has
realized for nearly a century what the
Real Capizzi College did in the
cultural and educational fields.
During nearly a century of activity was guided by father Benedetto
Ciraldo, Luigi Margaglio, Nunzio De Luca, Vincenzo Calì (to
him and to Gino Isola, director for nearly twenty years, was due the
exceptional success reached by the institute during the last years),
by Nunzio Meli (from 1977 to
1996, who was also among the lord majors
of Bronte) and at present by the lawyer Pietro
In the relation to the balance
of 1974, the assessor Vincenzo
Cali’ (deputy president of the Bank since 1947 and president from
1962 to October 1977), stated with regret the “extremely poor
crop of almonds and oil, no increase in the cultivation of cereals
and pulses, unprofitable meat prices”, but reported something
positive about the newly established agricultural cooperative: the
“Smeraldo” (Emerald, sustained by the bank ) “that appears
to be reaching some good results in favor of the pistachio producers”.
the Bank, still with only one teller’s window in Bronte, assumed
the management of the Council treasury “not only to enlarge its
activities but also to demonstrate, in an actual way, its interest
towards the collectivity.”
In the same period the Bank,
since 1912 operating only within Bronte’s territory, started a
gradual expansion of its credit activity in nearby towns, opening
affiliated branches in Maletto (1977), Maniace (1981), San Teodoro
(1990), Catania (1990), Adrano, Giarre, Biancavilla.
Remained yet a Bank “with a sense of proportion” always careful
towards small local economies with which operated in perfect
symbiosis. Administrated with a persistent auto-financing policy and
great efficiency, its primary objective was not the profit only but
rather the social improvement and the strengthening of agricultural,
craftsmade and commercial activities of the areas in which it
In twenty years of activity (from 1962 to
1982) the Administrators brought the number of the
members share holders from 94 to 321, the social patrimony from 67
millions lire to nearly 4 billions and the profit from 12 million
and a half to one billion and 400 millions . The employees? Only 18,
up to the end of 1983!
In 1978 the extraordinary
members assembly made new changes to the social Statute, increasing
further the nominal value of the shares from 500 to 5000 lire.
11th of September 1994 the social Statute was again adapted to
the new law rules for credit and banking matters of 5th September
1993, n° 385. The trade name changed once again in
Popolare di Bronte» - Soc. coop. a r.l. (Popular Bank of Bronte
The life of the company extended to 25th of May
But it was only a dream; few years after, in 1998, after nearly
ninety years since its foundation, Bronte lost its well-deserving
institution: after long negotiations, the Popular Bank of Bronte
entered in fact in the credit group of the “Popular Bank of Lodi”.
The 4th of October 1998 the members general assembly, called
purposely to a meeting, changed the legal status of the Bank from a
company Pty. Ltd. to a Joint-stock Company;
was adopted a new
statutory text in keeping with the indications of the purchasing
the members accepted the public offer put by the Bank of Lodi
and transferred to the same over the 51 % of the share capital,
giving to the Lodi’ Bank the full control of the ancient “Mutual agrarian Bank”.
The acquisition offer launched by the Bank
of Lodi had, unfortunately, achieved a full and complete success!
In 1998 the Bank had nine branches installed in the provinces of
Catania and Messina with a total staff of only 61 dependents,
property worth nearly 30 billions with a direct fund-raising of over
175 billions, a rich real-estate, counters always crowded and, above
all, making profits (kept on producing profits since foundation; in
the last balance, of 1997, the profit was over two and a half
billions lire (nearly € 1.300.000).
Lo stesso anno la Banca era stata insignita del Premio
XXIV Casali per l'economia come "insostituibile
punto di riferimento per l'economia brontese".
Certainly in the general credit landscape represented a small
economic reality, it had been such for nearly a century for a
precise choice by the various administrators, however it was a solid
and healthy company, well established in its territory where didn’t
fear competition because of affectionate and faithful customer
The last board of directors of local origin accepted in 1998 “with
a clear satisfaction the positive result of the negotiations” which
represented “a strategic choice highlighted on the future
of the Bank”.
The selling reason?
The board of directors said: «The answer is simple: in a moment of total distress and of continuous social, juridical, economic, geographical
and financial evolution (not to say revolution) one must be careful, must
scan the horizon even for the small and most distant clouds, not to be caught unprepared by the smallest thunderstorm or the big storm.