Not a mail bombing, but an invitation via pec, to be heard and to protest. In thousands. That’s what the mayor of Castione, Angelo MigliOrati addressed yesterday with a post on his Facebook profile so that, as we read, “with the help of citizens and holidaymakers a civil and decisive protest can be implemented”. The recipient is Intesa Sanpaolo, the first banking institution in Italy and, after the merger following the Opas su Ubi, also of the province. The object of the protest was the suppression of two ATMs in the Seriano municipality.
Via, that is, the two locations of Bratto, only the one of Castione remains available to citizens and vacationers. Incidentally, this is the only ATM in the Castione-Bratto-Dorga district that has a banking “monopoly”. In Bratto, in fact, an Intesa Sanpaolo branch was operating which, gradually, reached a reduced opening of two days a week, while Ubi was present with a secondary branch between Bratto and Dorga in addition to the main branch near the town hall. With the merger, all three branches were brought back to the Intesa Sanpaolo brand alone with the suppression of two stations, while the functionality of the main branch remained in the service of a territory with a strong tourist vocation. In fact, there are 3,500 residents, while the Castionese area on many weekends of the year touches an average of 10 thousand people, e in the summer period it reaches 35-40 thousand permanent presences.
Already last April Migliorati had written to the bank, pointing out how, of the thousands of presences registered in the area, about 26 thousand belong to Bratto and Dorga, all people who for a sample will be forced to move 5 kilometers. But this is not the main problem of the story. The question is numerical: to give an example, it is as if only four ATMs were in service for the whole city of Bergamo. The concern is also that since it is a single counter you can come across then breakdowns or other problems. Or that, in times of overcrowding, the machine can run out of cash. “Already in recent years – says Roberto Jannotta of the Hotel Milano di Bratto, just 10 meters from the Intesa branch – on summer Saturdays there were long queues when three branches worked“. Migliorati, in the face of a meeting with some bank executives, offered the availability of installing a station at the Palazzetto Congressi di Bratto, “but I was reminded – he says – the bank’s policy is for a general reduction of ATMs due to their operating cost and that in any case it is possible to make cash withdrawals at Sisal points in the area ».
“The closure of the operational points of Dorga and Bratto – specifies Intesa in a note – is part of the institution’s rationalization plan, in line with what is happening throughout the banking system, and this was previously communicated to the municipal administration. We guarantee the continuity of the service in the area through the Castione counter with an attached ATM service, in addition to the presence of exercises in the Mooney network where Intesa Sanpaolo customers can easily, quickly and securely access a wide range of payments (such as bills, prepaid cards, telephone top-ups) and services such as bank transfers and Mavs, whose updated list of affiliated businesses is always available on the Mooney app and website (locator.mooney.it) “.
Moreover also in Selvino, 25 thousand visitors in the summer, after the closure of the Banco-Bpm branch (which is carrying out the disposal of 17 small branches), Intesa’s only branch, with an ATM, will be operational. IS in the unfortunate hypothesis of failure it will be necessary to go down to Nembro, 10 kilometers of curves and hairpin bends. The two “tourist” situations, however, underlie a general scenario in evolution. «Coming soon – explains an expert in the sector – with the preparation of new technological connections it can be withdrawn from various commercial establishments. And this will inevitably lead to the divestment of ATMs that are not connected with the operations of the branches. Think, for example, of those in supermarkets ».
The out-of-pocket costs for maintaining an ATM are on average 5,000 euros per year: «To which must be added – concludes the expert – those relating to the depreciation of the machine, the telematic connection, maintenance and above all the loading of cash, especially for branches far from the branch. In general the trend also for ATMs is not unlike that of bank branches ». Which in Bergamo are currently 546, 30% less than the 786 present at the beginning of 2010. To date, about 25% of the Bergamo municipalities do not have a bank counter and in countries with less than a thousand inhabitants, only a dozen have managed to keep one in operation. Changes in customer behavior are affecting the functionality and divestment of branches and ATMs. The services offered by the ATM are now the same as the services of the mobile, such as payment of postal orders. As for the withdrawal of cash in the last year, its use has greatly decreased, with a surge also as a result of the anti Covid restrictions, of digital payments.