To ensure transparency and fairness, the purchasing process is based on company procedures that require fair negotiations and a competitive comparison of the technical and economic aspects of bids made by selected suppliers and their subsupply chain. Generally, Intesa Sanpaolo Group selects suppliers based on pre-contract qualification to assess their economic/financial and technical/organisational characteristics. If the qualification process is successful, suppliers are registered in the Group supplier database.

In 2016, the Procurement Department continued to use the “Suppliers' Portal”: this platform is for the qualitative assessment of suppliers and provides an online negotiation system. The portal makes it possible to impartially compare a number of bids for the same procurement event, differentiating the evaluation of the technical and/or administrative part from the purely economic part. Each supplier can view the status of procurement procedures, in a special section, and post their bids.

The process makes it possible to purchase products and services at the best market conditions, which meet specific requirements for functionality, quality, safety and environmental protection, complying in full with applicable laws and regulations.

In this context, market comparison (“Tenders”) is currently the standard purchasing procedure, both in Italy and abroad, since it is the only procedure that allows for greater fairness and transparency in managing bids and awarding the tender.

To guarantee the Procurement Department's assessment of the entire supply chain, the registration and qualification process was also extended to subsuppliers in 2016, with mandatory registration in the Suppliers' Portal. Operating Guidelines were also issued on managing sub-contracting and contract templates were published, to streamline the subcontracting authorisation procedure.

To consolidate the monitoring of business ethics, compliance with human rights and the protection of workers' rights and the environment, a project was started in the first half of 2016 which will gradually replace the “Suppliers' Portal” currently in use with a new e-sourcing application called the “New Suppliers' Portal”. The new solution, with a module tested in 2016 on 15 suppliers, requires potential suppliers to meet some obligations from as early on as registration. The “New Suppliers' Portal“ has a questionnaire on CSR issues. Information of mandatory documents must be updated at least annually. The new supplier qualification process will also make it possible to obtain a Supplier rating that integrates CSR information, which will be monitored over time.

International banks are also increasingly aware of these issues in relation to their local suppliers. For example Intesa Sanpaolo Bank Albania has published all its contracts on its website since 2016, and requests suppliers to provide evidence of the certificates of origin of supplied products.