The Banca d'Italia ( German Bank of Italy ) is the Italian central bank . It was founded as a stock corporation in 1893 , converted into a public law institution in 1936 and became independent from the government in 1981. It is a member of the European System of Central Banks .
In addition to its tasks as a central bank, the Banca d'Italia also exercises banking supervision in Italy. In addition, she advises the national constitutional bodies on financial policy matters and is active in the field of economic research.
Creation of the Banca d'Italia
Italy was unified in 1861 , but the kingdom remained economically behind the leading European countries. The banking system consisted of small individual banks, a few public institutions and a few central banks, making the banknotes in circulation very sparse.
In 1862, the Pepoli Law adopted the single currency, the Italian lira . Nevertheless, there was a fragmented circulation of money. The reason for this was that most central banks wanted to maintain their old right to issue banknotes themselves in the Kingdom of Italy.
- Banca Romana (previously: Banca degli Stati pontifici )
- in the north Banca Nazionale nel Regno d'Italia (created by the merger of Banca di Genova & Banca di Torino )
- Centrally located the Banca Nazionale Toscana , the Banca Toscana di Credito
- in the south Banco di Napoli and Banco di Sicilia
The latter two were public, the other four were private banks. These institutions issued the lira banknotes that had convertibility . The banks were in direct competition with each other and were monitored by the state. In 1866 the lira lost its convertibility, which led to very high banknotes in circulation.
It was not until 1874 that the law on the uniform issue of banknotes was passed. These new regulations authorized the six institutions to issue banknotes and thus created an identified, legalized and regulated oligopoly .
In 1881 the convertibility of the Italian lira was regained, but it was not implemented in practice until 1883. That marked the beginning of a short-lived illusion . The euphoria caused the economy to overheat. Unprepared politicians reacted to this situation with wrong measures. This in turn had the consequence that the lira lost its convertibility again in 1887. A building boom followed, partly supported by foreign capital and triggered by the new national capital Rome.
The result was overexpansion, a growing speculative bubble . This was followed by other crises such as the banking crisis associated with an exchange rate crisis in the early 1890s. This reached its peak in December 1892, when scandalous situations of the central banks were uncovered - above all dubious transactions of the state bank Banca Romana , which the government had kept secret until then. Despite the extremely difficult situation and political disputes, the banking system was reorganized in 1893. That was also the year of the birth of the Banca d'Italia , which was created through the merger of Banca Nazionale nel Regno , Banca Nazionale Toscana , Banca Toscana Credito and the liquidation of Banca Romana as a public limited company.
From its founding in 1893 to the 1936 Banking Act
The first period in the history of the bank runs from its establishment in 1893 to its transformation into a public law institution in 1936.
The 1893 Banking Act and the Giolitti Era
The banking law no. 449 of August 10, 1893 provided the basic building block for the creation of the Banca d'Italia . This new regulation redefined banknotes in circulation, meaning that 40 percent of the banknotes issued had to be covered by the institution's gold reserves , thus placing a limit on its spending. This created conditions to restore the functionality and profitability of the issuing banks.
At the same time, the process of transition to a central bank began and regulations were introduced that put the interests of the public before that of the shareholders, including the approval of the government for the appointment of a new director general of the bank and for the change in the discount rate.
During the tenure of Giuseppe Marchiori as general director of the Banca d'Italia (from 1894 to 1900), the public position of the bank was affirmed by this and the private interests of the shareholders were always excluded. Nevertheless, the institution remained a private company that issued the banknotes under a license . The change in management by Bonaldo Stringher in 1900 made a major contribution to the development of the bank.
During the Giolitti era , the Banca d'Italia was able to reconcile financial and exchange rate stability thanks to a favorable economic business climate and by supporting economic activities. Thus in 1902 the Italian lira reached its old parity with gold. Based on experience from previous crises, the convertibility of the banknotes was not officially announced. In 1906 the bank carried out an appropriate conversion of the non-cancelable government bonds, thereby confirming its role as banker, advisor to the government and treasurer.
In parallel with the economic upswing and industrialization, the credit system of the institutes also changed. The starting point for the change in the credit system was the failure of the two largest industrial banks of Italy, which led to a banking crisis from 1893 to 1894. As a result, most of the lending business was transferred from the three surviving central banks, the Banca d'Italia , the Banco di Napoli and the Banco di Sicilia , to the then recently established mixed banks Banco di Roma , Banca Commerciale Italiana and Credito Italiano . In 1907 the Banca d'Italia intervened effectively, preventing a serious financial crisis. This strengthened her position as the “lender of last resort” and thus cemented her reputation. At the end of 1907 a law was passed to make the circulation of money more flexible. The need for bank supervision increased more and more.
Before the outbreak of the First World War, the Banca d'Italia held a central position in the national financial system, thanks to the importance of its loans to the economy, its activities to guarantee financial stability, the consolidation of gold reserves and assistance to the Ministry of Finance in managing public debt .
The First World War and the consolidation of the public role of the Banca d'Italia
During the First World War, the Banca d'Italia was an important aid to the Ministry of Finance. She helped out with direct loans, carried out war bonds and administered financial transactions with foreign countries. The connection between the lira and gold was severed and a monopoly position for foreign exchange was created.
With the end of the war problems arose with the transition to the peace economy, since most of the industrial sectors and with them the credit institutions from which they had been financed until then were in crisis. Numerous bank failures followed. As a result, the Bank of Italy, with government approval, carried out massive bailouts. The currency monopoly was ended, but a return to monetary normality was not yet possible at this point. To return to the old system, Italy resumed a conservative stand in favor of the classic gold standard. To achieve this, the fascist government of the time decided to devalue the lira in 1926, during an inflationary situation that led to deflation of the economy. As part of the monetary stabilization plan and the return to the gold standard, this reform was implemented within three years.
This gave the Banca d'Italia a monopoly on banknote issuance, administered the clearing house and was the central node of a modern payment system and was equipped with the control function (bank supervision). The government also introduced a law to protect savings deposits and special requirements for banks, such as minimum capital requirements.
The above reform was completed in the years 1927–1928 with the setting of a new gold parity for the lira and the restoration of convertibility into gold or foreign currency ( foreign exchange ). With the law, the institutes undertook to maintain a gold or hard currency reserve (value date) of at least 40 percent of the money in circulation and to redefine the relationship with the Ministry of Finance. The reform reaffirmed the fundamental nature of the bank as a public institution.
In 1928 a new statute was approved, whereby the Governing Board Direcrorate replaced the management of the Banca d'Italia at that time . This collegial body consists of a governor, general manager and three deputy directors. The governor takes over the management of the bank and, on the proposal of the board of directors, approves the discount rate, this rate depends on the approval of the government.
The Great Depression and Banking Law 1936
After the death of Bonaldo Stringher on January 10, 1931, during the Great Depression, Vincenzo Azzolini took over the post of governor of the Banca d'Italia .
Due to the crisis, most currencies devalued, which also led to a further appreciation of the lira . The deflationary effect of Italian politics had a serious impact on Italy's economic and financial system. The state and the central bank worked hand in hand to save the big commercial banks from collapse, whose assets consisted of depreciated holdings.
The Italian bank had illiquid assets with which it was unable to conduct financial operations. To counteract this, the Istituto Mobiliare Italiano (IMI) was set up first to secure medium and long-term financing, and then the Institute for Industrial Reconstruction ( Istituto per la Ricostruzione Industriale ) (IRI) , which bought bonds from ailing banks and monitored them, founded.
In the mid-1930s, due to the increasing international tensions and a possible war, a de facto regulation was made to abolish the convertibility of the lira and the minimum reserve. As part of the preparations for the impending war, the banking law was drafted, the first part of which is still in force today. The Banca d'Italia was given the status of an "institution under public law" and finally the function of issuing money. The second part of the law included credit and financial supervision, a complete reorganization of the credit system, the separation between banking and industry and between short-term and long-term credit (with the second part almost completely repealed in 1993).
The devaluation of the lira at the end of 1936 caused an economic upswing and improved the balance of payments. In the same year the Banca d'Italia was converted into an institution under public law under Mussolini .
Second World War and post-war stabilization
The Second World War did considerable damage to the Italian economy. The lira fell to 1/30 of its pre-war value. For comparison: during the First World War it had fallen to 1/5 of its original value.
The Banca d'Italia experienced a dramatic split following the Cassibile armistice in 1943. Parts of the administration were in the Nazi-occupied north of the country, others in the Kingdom of Italy, which had survived in the south and had been captured by the Allies.
In January 1945, the appointment of Luigi Einaudi as governor returned to normal in the administration of the central bank. The transition to a civilian economy was difficult, but it did not lead to bank instability, as it did at the end of World War I, because the banks, thanks to the 1936 reform, did not have any significant illiquid assets. The institutions were much more concerned about the situation of the lira at the end of 1946, as it was threatened by galloping inflation.
With a consistent plan, monetary stability was restored between 1945 and 1948. The four main points were:
- stop inflation
- the restoration of a limit in the financial financing of the state
- the involvement of the international financial community
- the reorganization of banking supervision.
To this end, the minimum reserve mechanism was reformed in the summer of 1947 and further developed specifically to meet the needs of monetary policy. The authority to vary this reserve rate was given to the newly created body, the Interministerial Committee for Savings and Credit (Comitato Interministeriale pro il Credito e il Risparmio) (CICR) , chaired by the Minister of Finance.
In 1948, a new regulation for the protection of savings deposits was firmly anchored in Article 47. The then General Manager Donato Menichella made a significant contribution to strengthening the lira . Non-inflationary growth followed for the subsequent period. From the end of the war until the early 1950s, the work of the Banca d'Italia was of great importance for the country. She led it out of the financial emergency and thus enabled economic reconstruction.
From the 1950s to Maastricht
Reconstruction and recovery
The 1950s were years of economic boom and currency stability for Italy. The international opening, the entry into the European Economic Community (1957) and the introduction of the convertibility of the lira (external covertibility in 1958) had a stimulating effect on the Italian economy.
At the Banca d'Italia, Donato Menichella succeeded President Luigi Einaudi in 1948 . Under his leadership, the bank tried to maintain the conditions for long-term investment. The Banca d'Italia turned its direct interest on the problems of economic development in southern Italy without giving up its monetary control.
Their instruments of monetary policy were the discount rate and the Lombard loan (Lombard rate), which remained stable in the period from 1950 to 1958. The banking supervisory authority made particular efforts to avoid renewed asset illiquidity. For this purpose one tried u. a. to adapt the structure of the banking system to the industry. As a result, the small banks were promoted because it could be assumed that they were heavily dependent on small businesses.
In 1960 Guido Carli took over the post of governor of the Banca d'Italia. In the years that followed, Italy's economic structure gradually changed. The credit system became more and more important in order to distribute resources between consumption and investment as well as between the public and private sectors. From the mid-1960s onwards, monetary policy was devoted to securing stable prices in order to better cope with problems and to encourage investment. In addition, a central credit register was introduced and bank mergers were promoted for the first time since the 1930s in order to increase the efficiency of the credit institutions.
With the end of the Bretton Woods system (August 1971), the bank again faced economic problems. The abolition of fixed exchange rates, which had been decided after the Second World War as part of the reorganized monetary system, led to the fact that exchange rates began to float, oil prices rose rapidly and stagnation and inflation occurred. In Italy, inflation was well above the average in the other industrialized countries; between 1973 and 1984 this rate was never below 10 percent. In addition to the global price increases, domestic political causes such as tensions in the labor market, the increase in government spending without a corresponding increase in revenue and a lack of competition played a decisive role in inflation.
Due to the difficulties in securing prices, the stabilization policy was also abandoned. The problem was that, on the one hand, investments should be encouraged and, on the other hand, domestic demand should be controlled while the interest rate continued to rise. For this reason, administrative credit control measures (upper limit on lending and portfolio restrictions) and exchange controls were introduced in 1973.
In 1975, Guido Carli resigned as governor of the Banca d'Italia . He was succeeded by Paolo Baffi , who had been the bank's general manager since 1960. During the currency crisis (1976), the Banca d'Italia introduced credit limits in order to be able to better control the currency control through the restrictive measures. Once again, the Banca d'Italia emphasized its costs and constraints with a number of policy instruments. Processes have therefore been initiated to improve the ability to carry out monetary policy on the market, particularly when buying and selling securities (open market transactions). The first steps towards the creation of a well-functioning money market took place in 1975 with procedural changes in treasury bills and a new reform of the mandatory reserves.
In December 1978 Italy joined the European monetary system. It negotiated a wide range of fluctuation for the lira of 6 percent above and below the key interest rate, while the other participating countries had a narrower range of plus 2.25 percent and minus 2.25 percent.
Banking supervision induced the banks to strengthen their capital and improve their organizational structures in order to increase their competitiveness. As a result, the control instruments became more extensive and the analytical techniques perfected. In order to meet the growing need for international cooperation in banking supervision, Basel I was passed in 1983.
In 1979, the leadership of Banca d'Italia caused a stir when the bank regulator accused Governor Baffi of breach of trust and the deputy general manager Mario Sarcinelli was even arrested, which later turned out to be completely unfounded. This event was also a difficult test for the bank, but thanks to the solidarity on the Italian and international level, the independence and prestige of the bank and its employees, the Banca d'Italia was able to free itself from this crisis. Nevertheless, Paolo Baffi resigned in October 1979. Carlo Azeglio Ciampi , General Manager of the bank since 1978, succeeded Baffi.
Fighting Inflation in the 1980s
From 1979 to 1980 the second oil crisis caused prices to rise again. Three factors have helped the process of lowering the inflation rate and restructuring the industry. From 1979, the European monetary system began to function through an intransigent monetary policy, which significantly strengthened the exchange rate of the lira. In 1981 the Banca d'Italia got the autonomy in the purchase decision of treasury notes, regardless of whether these were bought by brokers at auctions (so-called: divorce). There was also wage moderation, also due to rising unemployment. Real interest rates returned to positive values.
In the second half of the 1970s, efforts were made to use market-based instruments to make monetary policy more effective. With the introduction of an effective issuing system for issued bonds and a functioning interbank deposit market, a real money market developed. The inflation rate reached a low of 4.7% in 1987, but rose again to 6.5% in 1990 due to structurally unsolved problems in the country and a balance of payments deficit, which caused investment to decline. Further economic development remained fragile for the time being.
The Single European Act of February 1986 laid down the steps for removing the remaining trade barriers. In 1990 foreign exchange transactions were liberalized, which in Italy had been subject to severe restrictions and controls since 1934. Liberalization facilitated the international integration of the Italian economy and financial system.
In the 1980s, supervision of the Bank of Italy was extended to non-bank intermediaries, but only for areas related to the stability of the financial system. The bank began the transition from structural supervision to so-called “prudent supervision”, which is based primarily on general rules of conduct. In 1990, three basic laws were passed: one on commercial banks and groups (the so-called Amato-Carli Act ), one based on securities transactions, and one to ensure competition. The first was an equal opportunity for bank operators, which the corporation established as the general model for banking. This formed the basis for the privatization of banks and regulated credit groups. The second regulated securities brokers and stock markets. The third introduced antitrust principles and instruments.
In those years, the Bank of Italy set itself the goal of improving the integrity and efficiency of payment services. National clearing and bank account transactions were fully computerized. The screen-oriented interbank deposit market (Mercato Interbancario dei Depositi) (MID) was introduced.
Maastricht Treaty (1992)
In February 1992, the Maastricht Treaty was signed, which formed the basis for the single currency and the European System of Central Banks and set a strict convergence framework for countries wishing to join the Economic and Monetary Union . The process for the Union has been set: a first stage of economic and institutional convergence; a second stage of implementation and procedural harmonization to prepare for the implementation of a general monetary policy and with the aim of developing the European financial institution, the predecessor of the European Central Bank in 1994. The third stage represented the real start of the single currency: on January 1st In 1999 the euro was introduced as book money .
In the summer of 1992, the various political positions of the USA and Germany triggered a currency crisis that affected many countries. The lira was devalued by around 20 percent. In 1993, Deputy Director General Antonio Fazio became governor after his predecessor Carlo Azeglio Ciampi had assumed the post of Italian Prime Minister (Ciampi became President in 1999).
In Italy, the crisis sparked a violent reaction. First of all, public finances were put back in order through substantial cuts in spending and, above all, through the additional income generated. A tightening of monetary policy was introduced in the summer of 1994 . In 1995 a new crisis was faced, the discount rate reached 9 percent. The determined actions of the Bank of Italy helped reduce inflation expectations during these years. New confidence, both domestically and internationally, allowed long-term interest rates to be reduced and led to a drastic reduction in interest payments on national debt. Thanks to the intense efforts of the government and central bank, Italy was in the first wave of countries to adopt the euro.
During the 1990s there was a process of institutional convergence (approximation). In line with the requirements of the Maastricht Treaty, the independence of the central banks has been strengthened. In Italy this happened in a series of steps. At the beginning of 1992 the Bank of Italy was given sole responsibility for setting the official interest rates. As a result, the bank prevented the state from financing itself from overdrafts on current accounts. The Bank of Italy stopped participating in government bond auctions from 1994.
With the implementation of the Second Banking Directive in Italian law in 1992, it established the basic rules for the financial sector. The specialization and thus the parcelling of banking, which had been introduced with the Banking Act of 1936, was abolished and made the universal bank possible. Measures taken over the years, such as encouraging savers to invest in stocks, additional retirement plans or asset management, significantly reformed the banking and financial regulatory framework. All of this was codified in the Banking Act of 1993 ( Testo Unico bancario ) and in the Financial Intermediaries Act of 1998 (Testo Unico dell'intermediazione Finanziaria) . The 1993 law also made the bank responsible for the proper functioning of the payment system.
|State \ Ø||12/2006||08/2012||12/2014||12/2015||12/2016||12/2017||11/2018|
Establishment of the Banca d'Italia
Board of Directors
The Board of Directors ( Consiglio superiore , German Executive Board or "Supreme Council") is responsible for the management, banking supervision and internal control of the bank. He takes care of the operational, organizational and accounting matters of the institution. On the proposal of the governor, he appoints the director general and the deputy directors general and plays a crucial role in the election of the governor.
One of the other tasks of the Board of Directors is that it draws up resolutions on the geographical distribution of the branches as well as on the general organizational structure of the bank. He approves the annual budget, agreements negotiated with the unions and is briefed by the governor on the essential facts relating to the management of the Banca d'Italia .
The board consists of a governor and the 13 directors ( consiglieri , "councilors"). These are elected by the shareholders at the shareholders' meeting, which always takes place in the main branch of the Banca d'Italia at Palazzo Koch .
The Board of Directors currently consists of 14 members.
Since 2006, the president of the central bank, known as the governor, is no longer appointed for life, but only for six years. A one-off reappointment is possible. This means that the term of office is limited to a maximum of twelve years.
Members of the Governing Board - Directorate
This collegial body is empowered to carry out measures of external importance in connection with the public tasks entrusted to them in order to pursue the institutional purposes. The existing laws must be observed and complied with.
Decisions that fall under the authority of the ESCB are excluded . A decision is made by majority vote; in the event of a tie, the governor has a special right to vote . The meetings are recorded in a special report.
Board of Auditors
The Supervisory Board controls and monitors the management of the bank, verifies compliance with the law, the articles of association and general regulations.
It consists of seven members, the chairman, his two deputies and four auditors. The members are elected by the shareholders at the general meeting for a term of three years and can be re-elected three times.
Her further tasks include the accounting control and the review of the annual financial statements, which are carried out independently by an external auditor. In this regard, the sets Supervisory Board of the General Meeting a report on the financial position of the Bank and inform the shareholders about the annual dividend .
Furthermore, the annual accounts are audited by an independent external auditor in accordance with Article 27 of the ESCB Statute. This auditor has the authority to examine all books and accounts of the bank and to obtain the necessary information about the transactions . In addition, when preparing the annual financial statements, the bank is obliged to comply with the principles and standards of accounting as well as specially tailored regulations.
Governors of the Banca d'Italia
|Term of office||Surname||Office|
|December 28, 1893– February 24, 1894||Giacomo Grillo||General Director|
|February 25, 1894 - November 11, 1900||Giuseppe Marchiori||General Director|
|November 18, 1900– December 24, 1930||Bonaldo Stringher||General Director|
|January 10, 1931-06-04, 1944||Vincenzo Azzolini||governor|
|January 5, 1945– May 11, 1948||Luigi Einaudi||governor|
|August 7, 1948– August 17, 1960||Donato Menichella||governor|
|Aug 18, 1960– Aug 18, 1975||Guido Carli||governor|
|August 19, 1975– October 7, 1979||Paolo Baffi||governor|
|October 8, 1979 to April 29, 1993||Carlo Azeglio Ciampi||governor|
|May 4, 1993 to December 20, 2005||Antonio Fazio||governor|
|12/29/2005– 10/31/2011||Mario Draghi||governor|
|from 01.11.2011||Ignazio Visco||governor|
In the history of the Banca d'Italia , there have been 3 general managers and 9 governors. (As of December 2011)
The first general director of the Banca d'Italia was - from December 28, 1893 to February 24, 1894 - Giacomo Grillo (born December 4, 1830 in Genoa, † February 2, 1895 in Rome).
Grillo first worked as a clerk in the National Bank (Bank of the Kingdom of Sardinia) from 1853, soon afterwards he was General Secretary and first Deputy General Director under the then General Director Bombrini. After his death in 1882, Grillo took over from March 21, 1882 to 1883 the post of General Director of the National Bank of the Kingdom of Sardinia.
With the merger of Banca Nazionale nel Regno and two Tuscan banks (Banca Nazionale Toscana, Banca Toscana Credito) , Grillo became the first general director of the newly created Banca d'Italia until his resignation on February 24, 1894 .
Ignazio Visco has been the governor of the Banca d'Italia since November 1st, 2011 . Visco is the successor to Mario Draghi , who became President of the European Central Bank (ECB) on November 1, 2011 .
Organization of the Banca d'Italia
The organizational structure is made up of the three levels on which the Banca d'Italia also operates:
The central administration formulates and implements the strategic and operational management strategies.
The peripheral organization consists of branches in the regional capitals and in some cities. The branches fulfill the tasks and functions of the state treasuries on the one hand, and on the other hand they carry out payment system services, banking and financial supervision as well as analyzes of economic and financial developments at the local level.
The Italian central bank has u. a. (Representative) foreign offices with representatives in London , New York and Tokyo . Some of these employees work as financial experts in Italian embassies and consulates in order to advise and support them in their tasks and functions.
In 2007, a reorganization of the central administration, the branch offices and the representative offices abroad began. The aim of this reorganization is to increase the quality, profitability and efficiency of the bank's services due to the changing economic and financial situation in connection with the potential of the new technological offer.
Central administration of the Banca d'Italia
The organizational structure of the head office is divided into:
1. Functional areas:
- consist of departments that deal with homogeneous tasks and services
- each area is headed by a director who is subordinate to the directorate, the governor and the director general and who supports them in the exercise of their duties and functions. The director monitors compliance with banking policy and coordinates the individual departments in order to implement the necessary activities
- their composition is based on basic operational units and departments (a distinction is made between operational and non-operational departments)
3. Area support units:
- these help the functional areas with administration and provide them with technical support or by performing other general tasks in the areas of activity of the areas
4. Base units:
- Business units that deal with complex and normal fields of activity
The planning and coordination of the activities are decided by committees that have an advisory, decision-making or control function.
Head office of the Banca d'Italia
The Banca d'Italia is based in Rome at Via Nazionale 91 . The building was designed by Gaetano Koch and named after him (Palazzo Koch) .
The Palazzo Koch was built in between 1888 and 1892 and originally used appropriately to accommodate the Bank's Management Board. It also served as a banknote printer and branch in Rome.
Branches of the Banca d'Italia
The bank's first branches had their origins in events that preceded the “birth” of the Banca d'Italia . In reality, it took over the existing branches and branches when it was founded in 1893 through the merger of Banca Nazionale nel Regno , Banca Nazionale Toscana and Banca di Credito Toscana .
The branches are located in the city centers, often in buildings of great historical and architectural interest.
They perform numerous functions for banknote issuance, banking supervision and the payment system. They also play a role in the payment services and accounting that the bank keeps for the Treasury . She also conducts research and analysis related to the local economy.
Current regional branches of the bank:
- Abruzzo; Basilicata; Calabria; Campania; Emilia-Romagna;
- Friuli-Venezia Giulia; Lazio; Liguria; Lombardy; Brands;
- Molise; Piedmont; Apulia; Sardinia; Sicily;
- Trentino-South Tyrol; Tuscany; Umbria; Aosta Valley; Veneto.
Reorganization of the Banca d'Italia
A comprehensive reorganization of the bank has been in progress since 2008, which is also having an impact on the branch network. After completion of the organizational reform in 2010, the new model of a regional network should be structured as follows:
- 20 branches in the regional capitals, which should cover the entire spectrum of tasks in this network
- 6 branches, which are dedicated to the broad field of activity, handle all tasks except those of economic analysis and statistical overviews
- 6 branches that specialize in handling cash
- 25 offices specializing in user / customer service
- 1 office in Rome to support the Ministry of Finance
The closure of 33 branches is expected, this is currently being implemented. In addition, in 6 provincial capitals, management and supervision will be carried out by the community of regional branches instead of a branch.
Legal status and shareholders
Legal status of the bank
The bank's nominal capital of 156,000 euros (up to the end of 2013: 300,000 shares with a nominal value of 52 cents) was held by 60 credit institutions and insurance companies. The bank is therefore formally a private central bank . In fact, however, the shareholders have no influence on business and monetary policy, since it is bogus ownership, since the owners cannot exercise their ownership rights with regard to sovereign tasks and questions of money creation.
Although formally a private central bank, the Banca d'Italia is in reality an institution under public law, as defined by the Banking Act of 1936 and the Statute in Article 1, Paragraph 1, as well as by a judgment of the Supreme Court confirming the provisions that are still in force of the Banking Act of 1936 to a few articles. The Supreme Court confirmed this with its judgment 16751 of July 21, 2006: The Banca d'Italia "is not a private limited company, but a public body according to the express reference to Article 20 of the RD of March 12, 1936 No. . 375 ". The bank therefore follows different business rules than those of a normal stock corporation, as can also be seen from the articles of association. This assigns the shareholders a number of votes that is not proportional to the shares held (limitation of the voting shares of the largest shareholders). The legal status of the public corporation precludes the possibility of bankruptcy of the Banca d'Italia.
Legislative Decree 133, article 5, of November 30, 2013 prohibits the Board of Directors and the participants from interfering in the public duties assigned to the Governor and the Banca d'Italia by Italian law. The appointment mechanism and composition of the Board of Governors will be changed. The Italian government reserves the right to attend the meetings of the Board of Governors and the General Assembly.
Share capital and profit distribution
|The 10 largest shareholders (as of March 31, 2019)|
|Istituto Nazionale della Previdenza Sociale||3.00%|
|Istituto nazionale per l'assicurazione contro gli infortuni sul lavoro||3.00%|
|Cassa Nazionale di Previdenza e Assistenza Forense||3.00%|
|Cassa Nazionale di Previdenza ed Assistenza per gli Ingegneri ed Architetti Liberi Professionisti||3.00%|
|Ente Nazionale di Previdenza ed Assistenza dei Medici e degli Odontoiatri||3.00%|
|Cassa Naz. Previdenza Assistenza Dottori Commercialisti||3.00%|
The banking law of 1936 set the share capital at 300 million lire (300,000 shares at 1000 lire). When the euro was passed in 1999, the capital was converted into 156,000 euros. In 2008, the Banca d'Italia achieved a gross profit of 502,939,255 euros, on the basis of which it paid the state 327,727,564 euros in income taxes (equivalent to around 65.16% of gross profit) and thus generated a net profit of 175,211,691 euros . The sum of 105,111,415 euros (equivalent to about 60% of the net profit) was then paid to the Ministry of Finance using the distribution key for net profit after tax. Half of the remaining € 70,100,276 - apart from a distribution to the shareholders of 10% (i.e. € 15,600) - (€ 35,042,338, about 20% of the net profit) were allocated to the ordinary and extraordinary reserves. In accordance with Article 40 of the Banca d'Italia's rules of procedure, 0.5% of the reserves of 11,757,789,000 euros (as of December 31, 2007) were also distributed to shareholders based on the returns on the reserves, together with the aforementioned 15,600 euros in total 58,803,600 euros (196.01 euros for each share), which was divided among non-state participants.
Revaluation of the share capital 2014
Legislative Decree 133 of November 30, 2013 (the so-called "IMU-Bankitalia Decree" implemented by amendments to Law No. 5 of 2014) has revalued the share capital through reserves to 7.5 billion euros. The registered shares are each valued at 25,000 euros. The revaluation of capital, which of course affected all stocks equally, left the relative weight of the individual holdings unchanged. According to the law in question, the capital shares can only belong to banks, insurance companies, institutions and social security bodies that have their registered office and head office in Italy. Each participant can neither directly nor indirectly own a capital share of more than 3 percent (Article 4, paragraph 5). The Bank of Italy can buy back its shares.
Voting rights can expire for shares that are above the 3% threshold, but at least the corresponding dividends are recognized for a period of 24 months after the law was promulgated. Therefore, at the end of this transitional period, the quotas that are above the 3% threshold will be "sterilized": They do not confer voting rights or entitle them to a dividend distribution.
New dividend distribution
First of all, the owners of the capital will receive a distribution of a maximum of 6% of the capital (i.e. a maximum of 450 million euros), which will be shared among all owners. The remaining winnings are to be distributed using the following method:
- Provision in the ordinary reserve of a maximum of 20 percent
- Provision in the extraordinary reserve and any special funds up to a maximum of 20 percent
- Distribution of the balance to the state
In turn, however, taxation was imposed on all Italian banks to cover part of the hole created by the abolition of the local property tax .
Duties of the Banca d'Italia
The most important function of the Central Bank of Italy is to ensure currency and financial stability. These are essential prerequisites for achieving sustainable economic growth.
The bank shares responsibility for decisions about a single monetary policy for the euro area and performs the tasks that are incumbent on it as a central bank and part of the Eurosystem. In addition, the Banca d'Italia is responsible for the implementation of such decisions within Italy. This is done through operations with credit institutions, using open market operations, through standing facilities and through the management of the necessary reserves.
In addition, the bank can carry out foreign currency transactions in accordance with the provisions of the Eurosystem. It also manages the domestic and part of the ECB's foreign exchange reserves and is responsible for producing euro banknotes in the quantities specified by the Eurosystem. The administration of the cash in circulation and the fight against counterfeiting are also part of their tasks.
The bank provides services to the state with the execution of operations for the Ministry of Finance (carries out operations on behalf of the Ministry of Economy and Finance, such as public revenue and expenditure) , acting as an agent for public debt and combating usury.
In order to increase the effectiveness of functions such as the fulfillment of monetary policy tasks, the Banca d'Italia is committed to research in economic, financial and legal areas on a large scale.
Financial market supervision
The Banca d'Italia is u. a. also responsible for banking supervision. In the past, the Ufficio Italiano dei Cambi , which was directly subordinate to the Italian central bank, was responsible for balance of payments statistics, foreign exchange reserves and the monitoring of national and international financial flows ( money laundering , suspicious transaction reports ) . After the UIC was dissolved, these tasks were taken over by the central bank itself or by the new Financial Intelligence Unit . The supervision of securities trading in Italy is carried out by CONSOB , while the ISVAP takes care of insurance .
As a supervisory authority, the bank strives to assume solid and prudent management with an intermediary function and to ensure the general stability and efficiency of the financial system while observing and complying with the rules and regulations. It contributes to banking and financial market regulation, partly through participation in international bodies. It coordinates its activities with other financial regulators in a variety of ways.
The activities of the Italian central bank include a high level of international obligations with regard to central bank functions and especially financial stability. It participates in the cooperation of the various groups and bodies at European level, and it also offers technical assistance to the regulatory authorities of emerging and transition countries.
The environmental policy of the Banca d'Italia
Against the background of growing international interest in environmental issues, the Bank of Italy has decided to reduce all measures with a negative impact on the environment. The governor has published an environmental policy document in this regard and ordered its distribution throughout the bank. As a result, an action plan to protect the environment was drawn up. It includes energy savings, reduced paper consumption, waste separation and other measures, some of which have already been implemented.
General tasks of the Banca d'Italia
The institution fulfills the following general tasks:
- Monetary policy
- Foreign exchange market and official reserves
- State Treasury (carries out operations on behalf of the Ministry of Economy and Finance)
- Investment portfolio (investment portfolio)
- Payment system
- Market surveillance
- Investment portfolio supervision
- Issue of notes and coins
- Economy, research and international relations
- Banking supervision
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