Banks are required by numerous entities and organisations to make responsible financial management choices in controversial sectors such as armaments, nuclear energy, and fossil fuel extraction. In particular, specialist NGOs, groups from civil society and customers are increasingly involved in pressure and awareness campaigns targeting Banks' decisions.

Intesa Sanpaolo is aware of the importance of correctly and responsibly managing funding, according to social and environmental sustainability criteria, and focuses specifically on the in-depth study of issues associated with the most sensitive sectors. In recent years studies on the coal, waste-to-energy and water industries have been conducted and circulated within the Group.

Among the sensitive sectors monitored by the Bank, the production and trade of military weapons is of particular importance and is governed by an internal policy.

Group rules on transactions in the armaments industry ban any type of banking or financing activities connected with the production and/or trade of controversial weapons and/or weapons banned by international treaties and in particular: nuclear, biological and chemical weapons; cluster bombs and munitions; weapons containing depleted uranium; AP mines.

Save for the above ban, transactions and financing relative to the production, domestic sales/purchases, imports, exports, EU transfers and the transaction of armament material used on a permanent basis by the armed forces and relative entities, as well as by local police forces, are permitted: a) in and between countries within the European Union and NATO; b) regardless of the country of production and / or origin of the weapons, if the end user is a Ministry, an Italian Governmental Authority, the Italian armed forces or police. Any exceptions shall be authorised by the Managing Director and CEO.

In 2016, the total number of transactions reported to the Ministry of Economy and Finance, referring to loan disbursements and payments amounted to 408 million euro.

A project is underway to produce a self-regulation policy for financing in sensitive sectors, starting from the coal and oil & gas industries.