The Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Firenze is a foundation with banking origins which adopted its present name following the application of the so-called Amato Law, number 218/1990. As a result, in April 1992 the banking activities were entrusted to the newly-established joint stock company Cassa di Risparmio di Firenze Spa by the original Cassa di Risparmio di Firenze.
Its history goes back to 1829, when a group of 100 citizens decided on their own initiative to set up a company called the “Società della Cassa di Risparmio”. The purpose of the company was to encourage saving and a prudential approach to money among the less affluent. The capital stock of 6,000 florins was divided into 100 shares of 60 florins each. However, the citizens waived their rights as shareholders and, in order to perpetuate the altruistic nature of their generous initiative, agreed that succession would take place not by legal inheritance or title but by election of the shareholders’ meeting.
Continuing in the footsteps of the original Cassa, today the Fondazione Cassa pursues its statutory aims by operating in Tuscany with a particular attention towards the territory of Florence and the areas in which the bank has traditionally operated. For these purposes it uses the proceeds from its conspicuous assets to fund and develop projects.
In July 2000, following approval of the new Statute by the Treasury Department, the Fondazione definitively assumed private legal status. This was a result of the regulatory review of foundations of bank origin implemented through the so-called Ciampi Law, number 461/98.
Indeed, like all the other foundations of banking origin, the Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Firenze is subject to the monitoring and surveillance of the Treasury Department. In its role as Authority, the Treasury Department verifies their compliance with the laws and with their Statutes, their proper and prudent management, the profitability of their net assets and the effective protection of the interests contemplated by their Statutes (article 10 of Legislative Decree 153/99).
In the course of 2015 the shareholding in the transferee Banca CR Firenze was permanently assigned and, in implementation of the protocol of intent signed by ACRI (the association of Italian savings banks) and the MEF (the Ministry of the Economy and Finance), the share held in the other transferee Banca Intesa will be progressively reduced until it is less than one-third of the total declared assets.
The aim of this diversified investment of the portfolio is to ensure adequate income, with a view both to guaranteeing the performance of the institutional disbursement activities and to safeguard the integrity of the net assets.
The foundation operates directly through its own projects or through operating entities or by making contributions to initiatives proposed by third parties that pursue objectives aligned with its own statutory and programmatic aims; it also operates through invitations to tender. The performance of its activity is directed in particular towards fostering culture and art, conserving and enhancing the cultural, landscape, environmental and agricultural heritage, furthering scientific research and technological innovation even in the medical and health field and the education of young people. It also supports voluntary work and associations and is committed to helping those in need of solidarity, care and rehabilitation.
The amount of resources available each year for the performance of the activities is set forth in the Annual Policy Document, which also establishes the allocation of the resources to the various sectors of operation in line with the strategic priorities.
Each year the foundation allocates resources amounting to around 25-30 million Euro to its institutional activities.
(Article 3 of the Statute)
“The Fondazione…pursues solely purposes of social utility and for encouraging economic development through initiatives and actions promoting the quality of life and sustainable development, contributing to the development of the identity of the community and the territory, with priority reference to the city of Florence and the areas of Tuscany in which the Fondazione has traditionally operated […]fosters the promotion and spread of culture and art, the conservation and enhancement of the cultural heritage and the applied arts, the landscape, the environment and agriculture, encouraging scientific research and technological innovations even in the medical and health fields and supporting the education of young people.”