PRESS RELEASE
08/02/2001

Crediop, the Dexia Group

Today, the Board of Directors of Crediop has decided, with the backing of its shareholders, to reinforce the bank"s traditional businesses, i.e. public finance and services to local governments in Italy, and to expand its activities to include financial and asset management.

As the leader for more than 80 years in the public finance sector, with a banking market share of 23% in 2000, Crediop will expand the range of specialized products and services it offers. This development will be supported by the creation of a structure dedicated to Major Accounts and by increased contact with clients in partnership with the Italian Popular Banks which are shareholders of Crediop (Banca Populare di Bergamo, Banca Populare dell"Emilia Romagna, Banca Populare de Milano and Banca Populare di Verona) that together operate networks with a total of 2,000 branches throughout Italy.

In addition to the development of Crediop"s traditional businesses, the Board of Directors has also chosen to expand the scope of the bank"s activities to include asset management and investment fund administration in cooperation with its shareholders, subject to the approval of regulatory authorities. This diversification, which will benefit from the expertise of Dexia-BIL, will principally target the sale of financial management products and the administration of investment funds for Italian collective financial management companies. This development will be accompanied by a reorganization of existing structures in Italy (Dexia Asset Management Italy, Dexia SIM Italy and the Milan branch of Dexia-BIL) within Crediop which becomes Dexia Crediop.

Dexia Crediop, a bank specialized since its creation in financial services to local governments and to the public sector, thus expands its scope of activities by becoming the Dexia Group"s principal entity in Italy. The Dexia Group is the world leader in public finance and financial services to local governments as well as a major player in Europe in terms of deposits, asset management and investment fund administration.