Storia - 170 anni di Cassa Depositi e Prestiti

We have been investing in tomorrow since 1850

Our history

Cassa Depositi e Prestiti was founded on 18 November 1850 by the Parliament of the Kingdom of Sardinia and has supported the Italian economy throughout its history, responding to the challenges of the ever changing times.

From the reunification of Italy to today, CDP has made a substantial contribution to Italy's transition from a predominantly agricultural country to a modern economy based on industry and services.

Postal savings have been one of the driving forces of this transformation and have allowed us to guarantee infrastructure and local services investment, support for companies, from startups to large strategic investments and, finally, to develop international cooperation projects.

You can follow the most important stages of history and the projects of our journey through these photographs.


The history of CDP is closely linked with the economic and social development of Italy. Founded by the Parliament of the Kingdom of Sardinia on 18 November 1850 and used by Cavour, who understood its potential, Cassa Depositi e Prestiti made a substantial contribution to economic unification after 1861. The changing location of its headquarters follows the changing capital of Italy, from Turin to Florence and then to Rome.
Photograph: Parliament of the Kingdom of Sardinia Law of 18 November 1850, No. 1097, founding Cassa dei Depositi e dei Prestiti.

1875: the Postal Savings Book is born. Cassa was entrusted with the job of collecting postal savings and allocating them for the modernisation of the economy. The provision states that post offices were to collect savings around the country, under the coordination of a central postal savings bank, guaranteed by the State and held by Cassa Depositi e Prestiti. Cassa was to use those savings to make loans to municipalities for the construction of roads, school buildings and water and sewage system works.
Photograph: the rapid growth of postal savings in the first five years following their introduction in Italy represented in a chart sent by Quintino Sella to Post Offices in 1881.


Savings grow and with them the institute's funding and importance and in 1910 it opens its new headquarters in Via Goito, on the Via XX Settembre side where the Treasury is located. In the first decade of the century, Cassa was established as a model administration, so much so that the Government promotes its direct involvement, with a stand at the World's Fairs held in those years: Paris 1900, Saint Louis 1904, Milan 1906, London 1909, San Francisco 1910 and Turin 1911. Cassa won various international prizes and awards at these events.
Photograph: 1910, the new headquarters of Cassa Depositi e Prestiti in Rome at the end of construction work.

The 1910s: throughout the war and during the years immediately following, Cassa Depositi e Prestiti played a fundamental role in supporting the Italian financial system. Local authority financing meant the Institute had a key role in building the country's infrastructure.
Photograph: work carried out with the support of CDP for the construction of the Apulian Aqueduct on the canal bridge over the Fiumara di Atella in Basilicata.


1924: Postal savings bonds are created. The creation of Postal Saving Bonds was a decisive step in funding success. It is a financial instrument particularly suited to the needs of small investors, attracted by high returns and the ability to cash the bonds in at any time.
Photograph: Postal Saving Bond for 100 Lire issued on 1 February 1925

In the 1920s and 1930s, CDP supported the founding of the entities linked to Alberto Beneduce, including IMI and IRI, subscribing to their founding share capital.
Photograph: The greeting of a group of laborers from Agro Pontino at the time of the reclamation. Shooting date: 1930.


The 1950s and 1960s saw Cassa backing the economic boom. Cassa also made its contribution to reconstruction after major disasters: from the Polesine flood in 1951 to the Vajont disaster in 1963; from the 1966 Florence flood to the Belice earthquake in 1968.
Photograph: Maximum height reached by the Po in Castelmassa, during the Polesine flood in 1951. In the foreground, a crane in the middle of the river.

CDP's support for the reconstruction after the Second World War was significant. These were the "economic miracle" years of intense development. CDP directly and indirectly financed the construction of new electricity, road, rail and telephone networks in Italy.
Photograph: the construction site of Messina port, built with the support of Cassa depositi e Prestiti, 1940-50.


Cassa was reformed in 1983, to give it greater financial and accounting independence. With the formal reorganisation approved in 1999, the Treasury authorised the Institute to take deposits directly from public administrations and public bodies, as well as to place securities with financial intermediaries. At the end of the 1990s, Cassa was increasingly involved in financing infrastructure projects.
Photograph: Maratea Port. The structure was built in the 1980s with the support of Cassa Depositi e Prestiti.

Photograph: Postal Saving Bond for 1,000,000 Lire issued on 1 July 1983. Lithographic and chalcographic one colour print produced in Rome by the State Mint Printing Office, Officine Carte Valori.


In 2003, Law No. 326/2003 converted Cassa into a joint-stock company (70% held by the MEF-Ministry for the Economy and Finance and 30% by 66 banking foundations). CDP was no longer part of public administration perimeter and became a "market unit", operating on the market like a private investor, now having to justify and support the risks and benefits of each transaction.
Photograph: The Goliat platform, Barents sea, Norway. ENI has participated in Cassa Depositi e Prestiti since 2003.

In 2006, the European Central Bank classified CDP as a "financial and monetary institution", along with the French CDC-Caisse de Dépôts et Consignations (founded in 1816) and of the German KFW-Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (founded in 1949). During the 2008-2009 crisis, Cassa took on an important anti-cyclical role of supporting and stimulating investment. Its operations were widened to include promoting SME access to credit and export support; cooperation with developing countries; developing public real estate and social housing.
Photograph: Friuli Stadium, Udine. Cassa Depositi e Prestiti financed the CCTV surveillance system and security management centre in 2008.


In 2009, Cassa Depositi e Prestiti financed the Marguerite Fund, promoted by the Long Term Investor Club, for the City Green Lights projects for energy efficiency in Italian municipalities, including Avellino, Lecce, Olbia, Parma, Pisa, Ravenna, Varese, Venice, Viterbo.
Photograph: Piazza dei Miracoli, Pisa.

Since 2012, Cassa has been in control of SACE and SIMEST, companies supporting export and internationalisation, and Fintecna, which controls Fincantieri, one of the world's leading shipbuilding groups. The CDP Group is created. Cassa intensifies equity investment purchases of large state-controlled companies, developing an important holding role.
Photograph: MSC Seaview cruise ship, Fincantieri. Cassa Depositi e Prestiti have been shareholders in Fincantieri since 2012.

In 2015, Cassa Depositi e Prestiti became the Italian Financial Institution for Development Cooperation with a strategic role in supporting international cooperation, combining development priorities and encouraging European and Italian companies to play an increasingly active role in emerging and developing markets. Through the 2016 Stability Law, Cassa Depositi e Prestiti took on the role of National Promotion Institute, playing a key role in the implementation of the Juncker Plan in Italy.
Photograph: the European Parliament in Strasbourg.

In the wake of the crisis caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, Cassa Depositi e Prestiti has taken extraordinary measures to provide tangible support to the productive fabric and public administrations at this difficult time at national and international level. Today as in the past, CDP stands at Italy's side, rewarding the trust of the 27 million postal savers in supporting the growth of Italy as a whole and building a sustainable future together.
Photograph: the Cassa Depositi e Prestiti building in Via Goito (Rome) on the Italian Republic Day.