UniCredit invests in southern Italy with new tech hub in Naples

FILE PHOTO: The UniCredit bank logo in the old city centre of Siena, Italy
FILE PHOTO: The UniCredit bank logo in the old city centre of Siena, Italy, June 29, 2017. REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini

July 9, 2021

MILAN (Reuters) – UniCredit said on Friday it was setting up a new technology hub in Naples, as part of its strategy to invest in southern Italy, an area of the country plagued by high unemployment and slow economic growth.

The move comes a day after Italian-French carmarker Stellantis announced it would build a large battery plant in the southern city of Termoli.

UniCredit said it would hire 100 new people and move back 100 employees originally from Naples or southern Italy to run the new hub, where it will host open innovation and technological development activities.

It said it would also strengthen the Naples branch of the business dedicated to remote assistance and advice to customers and expand its digital bank activities based in the city.

“In an area still characterised by high rates of unemployment among young people and women, we wanted to create in Naples a new hub,” UniCredit Chairman and former Italian economy minister Pier Carlo Padoan said in a statement.

In a separate statement, trade unions representing UniCredit Italian workers said the new jobs were a “first encouraging result” of negotiations with the lender.

Trade union representatives will meet with the bank’s management on July 13 to discuss issues in the retail banking business, they said.

(Reporting by Francesca Landini; Editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise)