Innovation That Matters

Italian bank targets immigrants

Financial Services

It was back in 2003 that our sister site first wrote about the immi-merce trend, noting the increasing prevalence of businesses catering to immigrants. Fast forward to today, and we see Extrabanca, a major Italian bank offering services tailor-made for foreign citizens. About four million foreign citizens live in Italy, according to the Italian Statistics Institute, almost a quarter of them in Milan. No huge surprise, then, to see Extrabanca open its first branch in that Italian city earlier this year. With a multilingual staff representing 11 nationalities, Extrabanca aims to open as many as 40 branches in Italy by 2015, it told Businessweek. Beginning with EUR 23.6 million, Extrabanca has 44 investment partners. “Our services aim to tackle immigrants’ needs and are offered by mother-tongue employees speaking 13 languages,” Chairman Andrea Orlandini told Businessweek, citing extended hours and weekend openings. There’s nothing like an economic crunch to motivate businesses far and wide to seek out new markets. For some banks, that’s meant targeting women or the gay demographic, so why not immigrants for others? One to consider emulating in your neck of the global woods? Spotted by: Ruben Reynolds



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