It is a pleasure to write to you as the Chairman of the UniCredit Board. It is a privilege to be part of this bank, particularly at this significant moment in our journey.
Over the past 12 months, we’ve been forced to confront the interlocking challenges facing our world. The ongoing war in Ukraine, geopolitical tensions that have divided our continent and a global slowdown of growth.
It has been a year of economic uncertainty, with the banking sector facing arguably the biggest macroeconomic challenges of the modern era. However, in light of these external obstacles, the progress we’ve made at UniCredit, as detailed in this report, is all the more impressive.
The world may be uncertain, but our vision for UniCredit has never been clearer. Against the backdrop of huge external transformation, our organisation has been transforming internally.
Our strategic plan, UniCredit Unlocked, will ensure that we are not standing still, waiting to be swept up in change. Instead, we are driving it.
This strategy, focused on leveraging the value and resources that already exist within the bank, amounted to a complete and comprehensive organisational transformation through 2022.
We have reduced the complexity of our organisational structure and strengthened our model for governance to drive the business effectively. We have also successfully supported our teams in the gradual return to work. This has enabled us to respond to global headwinds and deliver sustainable profit in a challenging year for banks worldwide. Our results speak for themselves.
In times of economic turbulence, the support of financial institutions is even more essential for people, who deserve not only to survive in difficult times, but to thrive wherever possible. At UniCredit, we have been committed to helping communities recover from the pandemic and financing companies looking to seize the opportunities arising from the National Recovery and Resilience Plan. We remain deeply committed to our home market, Italy, and will continue to invest in the success of its businesses and communities.
These are just a few steps we have taken in our ambitious programme to unlock the full potential of this truly pan-European organisation. Our presence across the continent continues to be a great source of strength for us, enhancing our ability to serve each of our individual markets. We know that when Europe thrives, we thrive as a bank.
Europe itself is at a critical point in its history: there are many more benefits to come from greater integration and schemes such as NextGenerationEU should not be a one-off. For our part, we will continue to find new ways to collaborate with governments, stimulate the economy, and support struggling businesses.
Alongside our work to finance the Europe of tomorrow, we have also renewed the mission of our Foundation to focus on the younger generation, who will be the continent’s future leaders.
2022 was a strong year for UniCredit and the Board wishes to congratulate the UniCredit leadership on its successes. As a result of this dedication and an unwavering commitment to our strategy, we can look to 2023 with confidence and push even further. When we do this, we succeed and importantly, our stakeholders succeed.
Thank you for trusting us as we continue on this journey, and thank you for your contribution to the success we are already seeing.
As a result, we are a better bank. A bank that delivers for our clients, communities and for Europe.
Pietro Carlo Padoan
Chairman UniCredit S.p.A.