Visionaries are those rare men who, looking at the present, imagine the future. In his own way, Ennio Doris was a visionary, an innovator, in some ways, a revolutionary because he created a new idea of a bank, anticipating the times and taking risks as only true pioneers can do. It can be said, given that the two have been friends for a lifetime and have started the Mediolanum adventure together, that Doris has changed the institution of savings in this country, like Silvio Berlusconi has changed politics. He first dreamed and then created credit institutions on a human scale, without branches to cancel the distance with customers because in his mind it was always them, with their savings, the bank. It canceled the nineteenth-century notion of credit institutions and rewrote its principles. Some of his famous phrases, imaginative and prophetic, recall those of those thinkers who changed the world: «Banks are like telephone boxes. Nobody enters it anymore, so they will disappear ». It is not just a “provocation”, but the seed of an ambitious project: to create a direct relationship between private savings and the real economy.
Indeed, the visionary thinks the impossible, sets up a bank to overcome the very idea of a bank, to build something that is its negation and synthesis. It is as if any current account holder, experiencing on his own skin the limits, the vices, the defects, the harassment of traditional credit institutions, has built one in his own image and likeness. After all, the message contained in that historic advertisement, “the bank built around you”, means just that.
This is why that formula, “the ethical bank”, is not the result of rhetoric, but is the ideal landing place for a self-made man who invented a bank for the needs of ordinary citizens, of that middle class to which he belonged. And it was consistent with that dream: which banker would give the money back to account holders during the Lehman Brothers financial crisis? Which credit institution would have taken on the burden of anticipating to customers the “refreshments” allocated by the state to keep our economy going during the pandemic? In this country, unfortunately, politics and ideology poison, but the merits, especially if they are great, when it comes to taking stock of a life should be recognized by everyone.