The Interbancario saga all started in 1961, on the ski slopes of Nevegal near Belluno. The initiative came from the Staff Sports Club of the former Cassa di Risparmio di Verona Vicenza e Belluno, but who could have imagined, all that time ago, that a firm’s sporting activities would develop into an international event of near Olympic standing and become a recognised fixture on the winter sports calendar?
The notes which follow give some idea how a regional Saturday competition “with prize awards in the evening” developed as time passed into an international event involving hundreds of athletes and a full week’s programme of official and complementary races for men and women, including giant slalom, cross-country events, individual placings for each day of events and a final points classification for the Banks involved.
The “Meeting Interbancario” (as it was originally called) in fact began as a giant slalom event for bank employees along the lines of the ski championships for banks held in the three Veneto provinces, with a few outsiders from Lombardy and Piedmont thrown in for good measure. Sixty-three competitors from fifteen different banks took part in the first year, with Dario Cordara from the Lombardy Savings Bank Cariplo coming first in the B category and Gianangelo Castagnetti of the Verona Savings Bank winning the A category.
Scarcely a year later the numbers soar to a hundred and thirty contestants representing 26 banks, coming from places as far apart as Trieste and Turin, from Sondrio and Bolzano, from Cortina and Tarvisio, from Reggio Emilia and Trento, not forgetting Verona of course, all threateningly descending on Belluno in cohorts of “Head Office” and mini “Branch Office” formations.
In 1964, after three consecutive years on the Nevegal slopes and following the tragic flooding at Vajont, the Verona Savings Bank passes the baton to the Turin Savings Bank, which organises the event at Bardonecchia. This Meeting marks the entry of increasingly large numbers of banks and the involvement of a whole series of well-known and well-loved alpine ski resorts in the years which lie ahead. Interbancario thus becomes linked to resorts like Selva di Val Gardena, Cortina d’Ampezzo, Passo del Tonale, San Martino di Castrozza, Sestriere, Bormio, Moena.
Again in 1964 swelling numbers of competitors bring about the start of a new category, C and two years later in 1966 it is the turn of the girls with their F category.
But it is not until 1967 in Cortina d’Ampezzo that the Interbancario starts to go international. With the subtitle of “First European Criterium” the event becomes European, with Erich Loeffler of the Hypo Bank of Munich top in the C category and the first “foreign” winner.
Twenty-five years later, once more in Cortina d’Ampezzo, the Interbancario Jubilee is proud to total a record 2,314 official entrants.
Continuous development has lead to a maximum number of 24 categories and to today’s 20 categories (alpine and cross country skiing), with individual cross-country for men (single category) starting in 1972 in Moena. Scarcely one year later two categories for men are added (“General” and “Gentlemen”) as well as a single “Women” category.
The first Interbancario to be staged abroad is the 1973 event in Lienz, Austria, jointly organised by the Oesterreische National Bank, Vienna and the Erste Oesterreische Sparkasse, Vienna.
In the years to follow further “firsts” will be held in Germany (Garmisch Partenkirchen, 1976), Switzerland (Disentis, 1978), France (Val d’Isère, 1987) and Norway (Lillehammer, 1996).
The introduction of the cross-country relays (Courmayeur, 1977) goes hand in hand with an increasing number of banks taking part from the far North, with new names like the Kansallis-Osake-Pankki and the Union Bank of Finland, both from Helsinki, and Den norske Creditbank from Oslo.
The official name of the event also undergoes change as the process of internationalisation continues. “Meeting Interbancario-Criterium Europeo” (1972), “Meeting Interbancario Europeo” (1974), and the current trade mark “Ski Meeting Interbancario Europeo” which goes back to 1976 and is registered in Geneva with the OMPI world organisation for intellectual property.
A new chapter is added to the Interbancario Roll of Honour with each new event, recording the resorts which host the competitions, the winners in each category and the banks which take first place in the special final classifications. At the same time it also mentions the difficulties and the challenges faced and handled, thanks to the efforts of the banks and all those concerned, without whose precious help the uninterrupted success of this event, year in, year out, would not be possible.
Even though the staff sports club context of the first years has given way to a more serious and convinced approach and the events are of a higher technical and spectacular level and undoubtedly enjoy greater recognition in the world of sports, the Interbancario remains, first and foremost, a Sports Festival in the true sense of the word, a chance to meet new and familiar faces in an atmosphere of friendly, healthy competition.
In the long history of the Interbancario, which - it is worth remembering once again - has become the most important winter sports event for banks, pride of place rightly goes to the Standing Committee, the international governing and safeguarding body set up in Moena in 1972 and consisting of representatives from the banks organising the event for the first ten years.
1972-1996 FRANCO CECCATO, Cassa di Risparmio di Verona, Vicenza e Belluno - Verona 1972-1983 CLAUDIO MARTINI, Cassa di Risparmio di Verona, Vicenza e Belluno - Verona 1972-1986 PAUL TIES, Cassa di Risparmio di Bolzano - Bolzano 1972-1977 GUIDO NIZARDO, Cassa di Risparmio delle Provincie Lombarde - Milano 1972-1974 MARIO RONCADOR, Cassa di Risparmio di Trento - Trento 1972-1980 GIOVANNI FRANZA, Istituto Bancario San Paolo di Torino - Torino 1972-2007 ADRIANO BASSI, Banca Piccolo Credito Valtellinese - Sondrio
1974-1988 GIORGIO GARBARI, Cassa di Risparmio di Trento - Trento
1974-1980 ALFRED PIETSCH, Oesterreichische Nationalbank - Wien
1974-1988 EMIL PAGLER, Erste Oesterreichische Sparkasse – Wien
1974-2006 GIORGIO GUGLIELMI, Cassa di Risparmio di Genova e Imperia - Genova
1976-1991 FRANCO DE PILATI, Banca di Trento e Bolzano - Trento
1976-1991 ERWIN NEIDL, Bayerische Hypotheken- und Wechselbank – München
1977-1981 DARIO CORDARA, Cassa di Risparmio delle Provincie Lombarde - Milano
1978-1981 ALFREDO MAINA, Cassa di Risparmio di Torino - Torino
1978-1983 GIANNI CATTANEO, Banca Commerciale Italiana - Milano
1979-1986 HANS SCHNEIDER, Credit Suisse – Zürich
1980-2014 GUSTL PROHACZKA, Österreichische Nationalbank - Wien
1980-2000 CARLO ANSELMO, Banco di Roma – Roma
1981-1986 ENZO CORTELLINI, Cassa di Risparmio di Torino – Torino
1981-2010 FRANCO TORRETTA, Banca Intesa - Milano, (ex CR Provincie Lombarde- Milano)
1981-1994 GERHARD FRIEDL, Bayerische Vereinsbank – München
1983-1989 GUIDO FOLETTI, Banca Commerciale Italiana - Milano
1983-2017 GIANCARLO CHELINI, UniCredit S.p.A. – Verona (ex Cassa di Risparmio Verona Vicenza e Belluno -
1984-1988 FRANCO BAIOCCHI, Banca Nazionale del Lavoro - Roma
1986-1996 MARKUS MALSINER, Cassa di Risparmio di Bolzano - Bolzano
1986-1989 TONI KÄGI, Credit Suisse – Zürich
1987-1990 ALBERTO BARISANO, Banco di Roma - Roma
1987-1994 JEAN MARIE MANGIN, Crédit Agricole - Paris
1988-1990 ARMANDO CORRA’, Cassa di Risparmio di Trento - Trento
1988-2012 SEVERINO DINONI, BNL-Paribas – Roma ( Banca Nazionale del Lavoro- Roma)
1989-2010 SERGIO RINALDI, Banca Intesa – Milano (ex Banca Commerciale Italiana – Milano)
1989-1997 DURI MATHIEU, Credit Suisse – Zürich
1990-1996 LORIS BRENTARI, Cassa di Risparmio di Trento - Trento
1990-2010 KARL DIEM, Deutsche Bank AG – München
1991-2000 WERNER KALLEDER, Bayerische Hypotheken- und Wechselbank – München
1991-2017 BRUNO PROTO; Intesa Sanpaolo S.p.A. (Chairman 1998-2017; exponent of ex Banca di Trento e
Bolzano – Trento)
1994-2003 JOACHIM KNÖR, Bayerische Vereinsbank – München
1994-2017 PIERRE LANDRIEUX, Credit Agricole Sud Rhône Alpes – Grenoble
1996-2006 PAOLO PODETTI, Cassa di Risparmio di Trento - Trento
1996-2012 PAUL MAYR, Cassa di Risparmio di Bolzano - Bolzano
1998-2002 ROBERT MATHIEU, Credit Suisse – Zürich
2000-2017 BJARTE EIKESETH, Nordea - Oslo
2002-2004 ERWIN FISCHER, Credit Suisse – Zürich
2004-2006 GERHARD FRIEDL, Bayerische Hypo- und Vereinsbank AG – München
2004-2012 WERNER HASELBACH, Credit Suisse – Zürich
2007-2015 EVI ROHRHIRSCH, Hypovereinsbank AG (Unicredit Group) - München
2008-2014 LAURA BOCCADORO, Deutsche Bank S.p.A. – Milano
2008-2014 MAURO PICCINALI, Credito Valtellinese - Sondrio
1985-2012 SANDRA GUION, Unicredit – Verona (ex Cassa di Risparmio Verona Vicenza e Belluno - Verona)
2012-2013 MARIA SMANIO, Unicredit – Verona
2013-2016 EVELYN RIER, Cassa di Risparmio di Bolzano / Südtiroler Sparkasse