Milan is Italy's undisputed leader in the field of finance; it has, in fact, one of Europe's 5 leading stock exchanges and is Italy's only gateway to the international capital market.
Operating in Milan and the surrounding province are 125 of the 788 banks active in Italy as a whole. They work first and foremost through 2,414 counters (more than a third of all those present in Lombardy and 7% of all those present in Italy).
Despite the profound changes that have taken place over the last few years, the presence of the banking system is also significant due to the type of players involved: 57banks and mutual banks, 11 cooperative banks and 55 branches of foreign banks, including almost all the main international merchant banks.
Dominating the scene are two groups in particular: UniCredit Group and Intesa-SanPaolo. Given their size, they have also become major players in Europe and are two of the main vectors for the internationalization of the Italian economy.
Alongside the banks, there are also numerous financial holdings, including 120 leasing companies, 17 factoring companies, 52 savings management companies, 120 real estate investment brokers, 14 financial holdings specializing in consumer credit and several hundred building societies.
In addition, there is also a network of financial consulting firms, indicative of the modernization of Milan's financial system.
The presence of the Borsa Italiana and of this abundance of banks and financial institutions greatly enhances Milan's appeal as a base for industrial and financial holdings .
The insurance market is enjoying a boom in Milan too, with the important development of bank-insurance, a new integrated financial market that has encouraged leading insurance groups to choose Milan as the headquarters of their own specialized companies.