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‘Robin Hood Banker’ Steals From Rich Clients to Help the Poor

Gilberto Baschiera, the former manager of a bank in Forni di Sopra, a small town in Italy’s Dolomite Alps, has been nicknamed the “Robin Hood Banker” for taking around €1 million ($1.15 million) from rich savers’ accounts, over several years, to help poor people qualify for loans.

It all started in 2009, at the the height of the global financial crisis, when banks’ criteria for credit approval assessments changed. It was no longer about an overall assessment of the customer, but about the reliability of the client, which was established at the bank desk, on a computer. So when a local man came to Gilberto Baschiera’s office asking for a small loan, and the bank manager saw that he didn’t qualify according to the new criteria, he felt sorry for him. Instead of turning him away like most bank managers would have done, Baschiera took some money out of the account of a wealthy client, and added it to the poor man’s account, so that he would qualify. But this was only the beginning of Gilberto Baschiera’s career as a modern-day Robin Hood of the banking world.

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