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Consolidated Non-financial Statement (drafted pursuant to legislative decree 254/2016)

Sustainability Report 2017

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Today's European and global situation means we are having to face profound changes in terms of corporate governance, relating to rapidly evolving issues and contexts. One clear issue that has emerged is Sustainability, which must no longer be seen as the feather in the cap of the most virtuous companies, but rather as a true driver of global development, which can create competitiveness and attract funding. Managing Sustainability in a company means comprehensively managing risks and opportunities, including new challenges linked to environmental and social aspects. Banks and the financial world in general have a key role to play in the transition towards an innovative, inclusive and sustainable economy. To use a metaphor, they are like water in a field, as they can “irrigate” and help this momentous change to grow. Our Group is fully aware of the role it has to play and has already begun the process of integrating Sustainability within our corporate values, with the strategic objective of creating benefits for all stakeholders in the medium to long term. Indeed, in our Group, this highly structured process was embarked on some while ago. Its roots are to be found in a history of values and people which we reflected upon during the course of 2017, with a series of events to celebrate our 150th anniversary. Through a direct relationship with the communities we serve, our focus has been placed on issues such as inclusion, the reduction of inequalities and the prospect of a sustainable future. In terms of the specific banking activity, 2017 was a year of major operational challenges: this included the successful merger of Nuova Cassa di Risparmio di Ferrara within the BPER Group, the extensive work that was carried out to improve the quality of credit, the commencement of the new Business Plan, which is now in an advanced stage of completion. To this we must also add the drafting of the first Consolidated Sustainability Report, as required by decree 254 of 2016. Indeed, the legislation requires that we draft and deposit, along with our financial statement, a non-financial statement illustrating the actions we have undertaken in certain precise areas: environmental impacts, management of staff, returns on society and local areas, human rights and the contrasting of corruption. The Consolidated Sustainability Report has therefore become an integral part of the Group's reporting instruments. Year after year, its publication will enable us to monitor and assess the sustainability performance over time and communicate this to all stakeholders. It is an important result that we are extremely proud of. But it was only reached after a complicated process that would have been impossible to get through without the commitment of all my colleagues operating in the various departments of the Group's companies. My heartfelt gratitude goes to each one of my colleagues, and I am convinced that we shall continue to operate in a united and motivated environment. This is an excellent starting point for us to plan for the challenges that lie ahead.
Alessandro Vandelli
CEO

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