We are an open company building the sustainable financial ecosystem of the future
There are so many ways to tell you who we are. Describing you our approach to the future is one of them. That is also because our way of heading to tomorrow is deeply rooted in our over 450 years of entrepreneurial history: we listen to questions and strive to turn them into answers.
Today we are the largest private and independent banking group in Italy. We have over 5 thousand employees, we are present in 7 countries and have 300 branches throughout Italy. Our activities include commercial and retail banking, private and wealth management, corporate & investment banking, payment systems, open banking and information technology services.
We foster, operate and are an open innovation ecosystem committed to sustainable growth. We give support to the ideas and entrepreneurship of startups and businesses through our Sellalab Innovation Centre. We have founded and stimulate the Italian fintech community: the Fintech District of Milan. We have launched the first open banking platform in our country. We do all this by putting the interests of our customers before our own in the awareness that in a medium and long-term perspective, those interests coincide.
450 years of business and innovation at the service of our customers
In February 2020, following the authorization by the Bank of Italy, Hype became an Electronic Money Institution (IMEL). In September Illimity and Fabrick (a Sella group company for the development of an Open Banking and fintech ecosystem in Italy, 100% shareholder of Hype) reached a Joint Venture agreement, thus completing the first industrial consolidation operation in Italy, in the open banking field: a driver for the development of digital financial services.
The Sella Group gave life to Centrico: a new business, consolidating the technological infrastructure developed by the Group into a single entity. The company aims to provide unique core and digital banking solutions with a wide range of Information Technology and Business Process Outsourcing services to companies of the Group, banks, fintech and other innovative financial operators. The aim is to contribute to the development of the Italian financial ecosystem by bringing the Group skills and technology, open and unique solutions in the sector, to the market.
Fabrick saw the light in 2018 as an open financial ecosystem enabling and fostering cooperation between banks, corporate and fintech companies to create innovative solutions for its end customers.
A platform aggregating, integrating and coordinating an ever-increasing number of APIs.
In 2018, Banca Sella launched in Italy one of the first ¿voice banking¿ solutions integrated with smart speakers, allowing customers to access their current account by talking to Google and Amazon home assistants.
In 2017, Platfr.io saw the light as the first Open Banking API Platform in Italy and among the pioneers internationally. Banca Sella thus opened its technological and information infrastructure to companies and startups, allowing them to automatically make their IT platforms interact with the bank's systems.
In the same year, the Sella Group fostered the birth of the Fintech District in Milan: the access point to the Italian fintech ecosystem that brings together startups, entrepreneurs, financial institutions, investors and universities, intending to promote the development of the financial industry, the future and growth of companies in the sector. Today the Fintech District brings together over 130 realities.
The Sella Group was also among the first in Europe to offer its customers the payment service based on the new SEPA Instant Credit Transfer ("SCT Inst") scheme of the European Payment Council (EPC). This solution allows receiving instant transfers throughout the SEPA area.
Hype, the Sella Group's light banking solution, was born just a couple of years following the launch of the UPMobile smartphone payment system. Developed within the Sellalab innovation platform, Hype is an application introducing a new way of managing funds entirely through an app. Hype evolves your smartphone into an e-money account that allows you to quickly and easily make transactions, such as the transfer of money between individuals, payments online and at physical stores, as well as planning one's savings and spending goals.
The Sellalab innovation platform was born in the historical complex of Lanificio Maurizio Sella, to support companies and startups in their open innovation and digital transformation paths. Sellalab is an open ecosystem that connects established companies and emerging startups to foster the innovation processes of the former on the one hand and the growth of the latter on the other. The opening of other offices in Milan, Lecce and Salerno followed that of Biella. The mission of each site is to become the point of reference and interconnection in the territory, for those who want to do business. As a consequence, this leads to the birth of communities that constantly meet there.
The Sellalab offices annually evaluate over 200 entrepreneurial projects, involving over 10,000 people in the over 150 events organized throughout the territory concerning digital transformation and innovation.
Sella Digit, the digital signature online service enabling customers to sign banking documents was launched in 2011: it is no more necessary to go and sign documents at branches.
gruppo Sella opens a Facebook account to have a communication channel constantly open towards Customers. Banca Sella issues co-branded prepaid cards with important players.
Banca Sella begins to use the brand Sella.it to offer its all-round services. Online trading services are launched (derivatives on Fib 30). The first venture capital initiatives take place: together with a group of entrepreneurs from Biella, the investment fund Jupiter is set up, investing in successful enterprises such as Mutui Online.
SellaMoney was launched: the first prepaid card by Banca Sella, answering the demand of Customers to have a payment tool without a current account.
Launch of Websella.it, dedicated to Customer that prefer to operate online. The core offer is the fee-free current account, to which was in time added a wide range of products and services.
In 2000, at the death of Giorgio Sella, Maurizio becomes Chairman of the Group, while his son Pietro, an engineer like his great-grandfather and working in the bank since 1994, is appointed first Managing Director of Banca Sella (2002) and then, in 2005, Managing Director of the Parent Company.
The first banking app for iPhone in Italy is developed and launched, allowing Customers to access and operate on their accounts directly from their mobile phones. Banca Sella enters the social media world with the "La Banca che Piace" community, where Customers can rate products and services and share and suggestions.
gruppo Sella is founded.
Banca Sella is among the first in Italy to develop and launch a website. The Group is among the first to grasp the possibility of international collaborations and partnerships. In 1995, Selir was born in Romania. The following year Sella Synergy India saw the light: a global in house centre to develop ICT solutions in the banking and financial sector.
In 1997, Banca Sella was among the first banks to provide a real-time information internet banking service in Italy. It also joined the first e-commerce program when Microsoft and the Yahoo portal launched the E-Christmas initiative to foster e-commerce in Europe. Gruppo Banca Sella Group joined the venture by managing the first e-commerce transactions at the European level for a tie shop. In the same year, it is first-mover in the field of electronic payments.
1998 was the year of the first online revolution. The home banking service became enacting, allowing customers to make transfers and transfers. Winconto saw the light: the first Italian online account.
Still, in 1998, Banca Sella carried out the first purchase of shares sent to the Italian market through the internet. A lot of 1000 Fiat shares gave way to the birth of the Online Trading service.
In 1997, Banca Sella was one of the first Italian banks to launch an informative internet banking service in real time. It was the first in Italy to join in the budding European e-commerce service and it is first mover in the electronic payments industry.
In the spring of 1998 the first online revolution took place: the home banking service allows Customers to perform bank transactions online. Therefore, the first online account in Italy was launched: Winconto.
The branch number grew to 17 located in the provinces of Biella, Torino, Cuneo and Aosta.
Società Autostrade chooses Banca Sella to experiment a revolutionary system to pay motorway tolls called Viacard.
Banca Sella establishes its asset management company and it is among the first Italian banks to offer mutual funds to its Customers.
For its first century anniversary, the bank opens its branch in the central Piazza Castello in Turin.
In the 1970s Banca Sella was the first in Italy to introduce Chubb machines, the ATM ancestors, allowing Customers to draw money in an automated way.
Banca Sella added Treasury Bills (BOT) to its managed savings offer. It is among the first banks in Italy to sell Treasury Bills at its branches.
At Ernesto's death, Maurizio Sella succeeds his father in the role of General Manager and Managing Director of the Bank, while his uncle Giorgio becomes Chairman of the same.
During the 1960s the Bank expands within the province of Biella and a new head office building is built in the central via Italia.
The processing centre is moved into the new premises and turns into an "electronic data centre" with the adoption of the first computers.
The process of growth and development continued. In 1966, the son of Ernesto, Maurizio, joined the bank. Twenty-four years, graduated in Economics and Trade and experienced in the family farms, Maurizio started his career as a cashier, then moved on to trusts and other functions and ended his practice period as Head of accounting and organization. He became General Manager and Managing Director of the bank, alongside his uncle Giorgio who became Chairman when his father died in 1974.
In the meantime, the branches went from 10 in 1966 to 24 in 1980. In 1992, they became 65 and are over 300 today, further to the acquisition, started in the 80s, of 10 local banks. On 11 August 1992, the Banca Sella Group was established.
Business growth and territorial expansion made it necessary to move from manual jobs to automated procedures. Under the guidance of Giorgio Sella: a telecommunications enthusiast with a pioneering spirit, the introduction of the first information technologies took place. The "mechanographic centre¿ was built at the Headquarters of via Seminari, in Biella, where the bank had moved, from via Umberto, in 1898. The centre, further developed in an ¿electronic centre¿ in the 1960s, at the time of construction of the new Headquarters of via Italia, following the adoption of the first computers.
Gaudenzio remained, at the helm of the bank, until he died in 1934. His sons Ernesto and Giorgio succeeded. The bank that Gaudenzio left to his family was sound and in good health, thanks to its sound and prudent management. Moreover, up to that point, the bank had decided not open branches, in addition to the head office. However, under the new Administration, it started to move away from the purely local dimension, according to a long-lasting policy of further development and expansion.
In 1937, the bank opened its first branch outside Biella in Ponzone, Val Sessera. In 1939, new bank branches opened in Cossato, followed by Vallemosso in 1941.
The second and third branches opened in Cossato and Vallemosso in 1939 and 1941 respectively. The Second World War begins and the Bank continues to expand. After the war 5 branches in the Biella area were opened.
After the war, five other branches opened in Biella, laying the foundations for future expansion. In 1949 the bank became a joint-stock company, of which Ernesto was President and Giorgio CEO.
In the nineteenth century, the Sella family was among the leading figures of the first steps of industrialization in the textile field. In 1815, Pietro Sella following a trip to England where he went as an operant to understand how processing machines worked, bought from the inventor and entrepreneur William Cockerill, who had opened a textile machinery manufacturing workshop in Belgium, eight different specimens of spinning machines (for beating, peeling, removing and carding the wool, for spinning it in bulk and, finally, to garnish and trim clothes). For each imported specimen Pietro Sella reproduced two others, and in 1817, the King of Sardinia authorized him to start production. The machines soon began to make a decisive contribution to the growth of the family company¿s turnover. A few years later, his brother Giovanni Battista also introduced the same machines.
Maurizio and Rosa had twenty-three children, four of whom carried on the business: Francesco, Gaudenzio, Giuseppe Venanzio and Quintino. Quintino Sella, born in 1827, became Minister of Finance of the newborn Kingdom of Italy for the first time in 1862, dedicating himself to the consolidation of the budget. He also contributed, among other things, to create the School of Applied Engineering of Turin (in 1859, the current Polytechnic), to found the Italian Alpine Club (1863), to reconstitute the Accademia Dei Lincei (in the 70s). With the textile sector well underway, Quintino Sella inspired the banking institution established after his death.
In 1835, following the process of mechanization of the wool spinning machines, Maurizio Sella and his wife Rosa Sella, in search of jumps with greater quantities of water needed to spin the wheel and transmit the mechanical energy necessary to the machines, transferred the activities on the Cervo stream in Biella. Thanks to these innovations in the 1870s, in the factory along the Cervo stream, the introduction of mechanical looms saw the light. Lanificio Maurizio Sella is now home to Sellalab and other activities of the Sella group dedicated to training, innovation and Open Banking, further than hosting Fondazione Sella: the Sella Foundation collecting, preserving and enhancing the memory of the family and the territory. In the field of textiles in more recent years, the Sella family also helped to establish two companies: Idroelettrica Italiana and Filatura di Tollegno.
In 1886, the 26-year-old Gaudenzio Sella (1860-1934), third son of Giuseppe Venanzio, two years after graduating in civil engineering, together with six other brothers and cousins, establishes the credit institution that is the basis of the current Sella group. On 23 August 1886, the constitution of the limited partnership Gaudenzio Sella & C. was registered with the notary Ramella of Biella to "exercise - as stated the deed of incorporation - banking trade such as discounts, advances, current accounts, buy, sell, etc.". The social capital of the bank is 550,000 Liras and will remain so until 1937 when the bank became a limited partnership. Among the founders, the Maurizio Sella wool mill underwrote a significant portion of the share capital.
The first traces of the entrepreneurial activity of the Sella family go back to the second half of the sixteenth century, when Bartolomeo Sella and his son Comino worked as entrepreneurs in the textile field, having fabrics produced by wool artisans and financing the entrepreneurs of the Biellese community. The family has its origin in the Valle di Mosso, where its activities concentrated for a long time in the textile and agricultural fields.
Banca Sella Holding S.p.A.
Banca Sella Holding concentrates a wide variety of functions in a single entity. In its capacity of Parent Company of the Sella Group it carries out the activities of management, coordination and control, identifying the strategic guidelines for the development of the Group. These activities, according to the rules and regulations of the sector and to those set out by company laws, provide for the functioning of the banking Group by a "sound and prudent management" and for a strategic control on the development of the different areas of activity in which the Group operates and on the risks related to the activities carried out.
Banca Sella Holding also carries out activities of the financial sector (proprietary trading, management of centralised treasury activities, of own securities portfolio and corporate finance activities).
Other centralised activities carried out in the interest of the Group are the trading of financial instruments, access to financial markets and local transfer agent services.