Italian business publication Azienda Banca reports on how Italian banks fared in the 2016-2017 Webranking by Comprend research.
Webranking works as a stress test, in that it measures the fundamentals of online corporate and financial communications and dialogue of the largest listed companies, based on stakeholder demands. The research’s objective is to promote a digital culture within companies and help them understand how to meet the growing expectations of stakeholders.
The research, celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, examined 499 corporate websites pertaining to the largest European companies, of which 49 were banking websites (12 of these are Italian banks).
5 out of 12 Italian banks pass the communications stress test
As the criteria in the protocol is based upon the needs and expectations of stakeholders – through annual surveys to investors, journalists and jobseekers –half of the max score (50 points out of 100) is considered the threshold at which companies respond adequately to capital demands.
Despite the average score for the Italian banking sector decreasing this year (from 39.9 to 38.9 points), the number of banks passing the stress test increases from three to five banks. Despite this improvement, over half of the Italian banks analyzed find themselves in the “held back” category (obtaining between 30-50 points) or failing the test (scoring less than 30 points).
UniCredit tops the Italian banking podium, followed by Intesa Sanpaolo and Banca Generali. At a European level, Unicredit is the highest ranked Italian bank in fourth place, followed by Intesa SanPaolo (in 10th place) and Mediobanca) in 12th place. To read our whitepaper on how European companies fared, click here.
At the European level, Nordic banks lead the pack on transparency
Nordic banks dominate the European banking podium. Swedish bank SEB makes a significant leap this year to take first place, improving by an impressive 19 points to reach 78.9 points. It is followed by its co-national Swedbank with 62 points. Swiss bank Credit Suisse rounds the podium with 59.5 points.
Banking sector amongst the worst digital communicators in Europe
This despite the fact that they are one of the sectors that have been most behest by scandals in recent years, and have seen serious consequences to their lack of transparency. Their low-ranking position is particularly significant given that their insurance counterparts are the second most transparent sector in Europe.
Nine years after the banking scandals, and countless outcries on leadership remuneration, it is worrying to see only one Italian bank present their remuneration policy online, while none detail how much their leadership is being compensated.
Only three banks outline their risk management processes on their website, and only one provides information on their debt and their financial objectives. On a positive note, Mediobanca, with the view of being more transparent, has recently revised their governance section to show how their governance system has evolved over the years.
For more insights and trends, keep a lookout for our banking sector report, which will be published shortly.
Who passes the stress test in the Italian banking sector?
Italian banking results (100 points max score)
|2. Intesa Sanpaolo*||53.5|
|3. Banca Generali||52.7|
|5. UBI Banca||51.1|
|6. Banca Ifis||38.9|
|7. Banca MPS||34|
|9. Banca Sistema||29|
|10. Banco Popolare||23.3|
|12. Banca Carige||19.4|
* Included in the European ranking
European banking results (100 points max score; 49 banks)
|3. Credit Suisse||59.5|
|10. Intesa Sanpaolo||53.5|