Mauro Patarchi: Old Money in a New Economy
It is Monday morning and Mauro Patarchi has a busy day ahead of him.
This is the first day of a new checking campaign, and materials arrived only a week before. On his way to work, Mauro, a banker, considers ways he can contribute to the program’s success.
A day in the life of a banker is stressful but rewarding, especially in the small town of Cagli, Italy. Mauro is the head banker at UniCredit Group, an Italian global bank and financial services company just a few steps off the piazza.
Each morning on arrival, Mauro shows his identification badge to bank surveillance, walks through the door, and is blessed with a refreshing breeze from the air conditioning. The florescent lights illuminate the lobby, which feature flyers for different investment campaigns. The office is built for four cashiers, but Mauro is left to handle it all; he manages the counter, reviews customer and business accounts, provides financial recommendations, and offers insurance products.
The Italian culture has shaped Mauro ’s work-life balance, he says. Because of this, he easily adapted to the stress of growing the membership at the Cagli branch all while handling up to 10,000 current accounts. Mauro says his bank has benefitted from an economic state that has slashed staff and cut expenses at other institutions.
The recent economic turmoil has highlighted just how onerous the job of a banker can be. Changes in banking remind him of his work’s purpose – to bond with customers, especially global travelers who can benefit from a regional European bank.
He capitalizes on Cagli’s small population and word-of-mouth culture that allows him to easily transition conversations to how UniCredit is a bank for the traveler. Mauro understands his charge to educate locals on how money can grow so the people of Cagli are not left with limited resources.
As they enter the bank, Mauro’s customers are welcomed with a wave, and, often, a hello by name. He spends a good part of each day asking customers about their current and future banking needs and providing them with services. Every customer conversation is different, making each day a challenge, he says.
“My favorite thing about banking is dealing with the curious people of Cagli,” he says, adding that “some people do not like to chat.”
After two decades of banking experience, Mauro has found ways to make conversations fruitful, especially with the Cagli men and women who do not understand recent industry changes. Many Cagliese locals are grappling with new ways of finance – automatic billing and online banking.
“Cagli has a lot of old money with people that have a saving mentality,” Mauro says.
Bankers are responsible for growing investments, Mauro says. He often can be found hunched at his computer – stacks of newly printed euros by his keyboard –as he makes sure his Cagliese customers have wisely invested their assets. He can simultaneously process a transaction, using both hands to count the euros, while talking with a potential customer over the phone.
Mauro says that someday he would like to work for his employer overseas. As he leaves his work each day, the cobblestone streets remind him of the past and its link to the future. Each day is a new day to connect with customers. He embraces the Italian tradition that reminds him to leave work at work and go home to play sports or paint.