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Introduction to Corporate culture in Banking

Linking Marketing-Human Resources and Operations

“People are not made of numbers. They are made of hopes and dreams, passions and partnerships, talent and tenacity.”

Credit Suisse advertisement

Years ago, like all fresh graduates, I looked for a job with hope and yes also with passion. I remember one interview in particular at the branch of Bank of America in Antwerp, Belgium. The manager told me a story, the unique story of the bank, which was at the basis of its very own “corporate culture”. The original name of the bank was Bank of Italy!
The bank was founded at the beginning of last century by an Italian immigrant, Amadeo Peter Giannini, in San Francisco in 1904. The story goes that, whilst the city was severely destroyed in 1906 due to the great San Francisco earthquake and fire, Mr. Giannini kept his bank open with a desk at Washington street wharf with a “Bank of Italy” sign over it. He advised his colleagues, who wanted to keep the banks closed in the destroyed city, to: “beg, borrow or steal a desk and follow my example in the street”. Read more