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Italy

Basics
Banks
Dodgy Deals
Companies

Banking landscape

Italy is a major European country, and despite that its financial sector is less "internationalised" than the ones from other countries, it still has some relevance in global markets. In particular, few selected actors still play a central role both in the country and in some sectors abroad, and primarily in Eastern Europe (such as the Unicredit Group or the Generali insurance group). This is due to the fact that several Italian banks got badly hit by the Argentinian crisis in 2001 and recently by the financial crisis affecting Europe.

Through the crisis Italian banks did not require proper bail outs, apart from some limited public support in order to on-lend to small and medium enterprises, but got significant access to ECB resources due to liquidity problems. At the same time the value of all major Italian banks decreased significantly in the last years. In particular, the capitalisation of the five major banks (among which the two largest are Unicredit and Intesa San Paolo) is between 30 and 40 billion Euro, much lower than other European banking giants. It should be added that the largest Italian bank at the moment remains a primarily publicly owned one, not known to most of the people: Cassa Depositi e Presititi, which manages every year about 200 billion Euro raised through postal savings and has a capitalisation of about 240 billion Euro (including the equity participation to key Italian multinational companies).

Cooperative and popular banks have a long tradition in Italy; in particular, the cooperative banks are widespread on the Italian territory. Banca Popolare Etica operates as the major ethical bank in the country since the beginning of last decade. Still some experiences of local mutual lending (so called MAG) exist in some regions.

Bank regulation

The Italian financial sector is supervised primarily by the Italian Central Bank.  It is responsible for the stablility of the Italian banking sector and operates independently, in cooperation with the European Central Bank, to ensure price stability, a shock-resilient financial system and strong and sound financial institutions serving economic development in Italy.

Contrary to most other European countries, Italy does not have a proper authority for financial markets, while the functioning of these is monitored and supervised too by the Central Bank.

Italian banks listed on the Milan stock-exchange are supervised by Consob, the independent authority for the stock-exchange, as well.

The Italian Banking Association (ABI) is still an influential player in the country and in particular through the crisis played a very proactive role in advocacting for measures in support of the sector as well as tried to influence the definition of new banking regulation at European level (Basel III Accord revision).

Government policy on bank reform

The Italian government urged in the last years the domestic banking sector to provide easy access to lending for small and medium entrerprises, which produce about 95% of Italian GDP. Through the crisis the government made available 8 billion Euro to major Italian banks to on-lend to SMEs at better terms, and offered an unprecedented guarantee on 50% of the loans by the Italian export credit agency (whose mandate has been changed at this occasion for the purpose of operating within Italy). Loans have been made available to banks by Cassa Depositi e Prestiti. More generally, the Italian government significantlty strengthened the role of CDP with the intention of establishing a sort of "Italian sovereign wealth fund" to support the Italian economy at home and abroad. It should be noted that 30% of CDP is controlled by 66 banking foundations, which remain an important shareholder in most Italian banks.

No particular government inquiry has been promoted about the Italian banking sector through the crisis, despite a large criticism by the domestic industrial sector over the last years about  difficulties in accessing credit from the banking system.

Independent sustainability and reform initiatives

In recent years a number of sustainability initiatives - such as the "Protocol on Sustainable Development for the Banking Sector" promoted by the Italian National Banking Association and major trade unions in the banking sector - emerged in Italy, however most of them remain questionable in terms of real impacts in changing Italian bank practices.

The Italian banking association promoted several working groups on sustainability and SRI related issues. Independent and more progressive rating agencies gather into the Forum on Sustainable Finance.

The Fondazione Culturale Responsabilità Etica, part of the Italian ethical bank group, promotes several initiatives and awareness raising campaigns on the issue of sustainability as well, in this case with the more active involvement of civil society actors such as Re:Common.

Italy

Population: 60.6 million (2011)

GDP: 2.19 trillion USD (2011)


working partners
Banca Etica
 Banca Etica is the first institution of ethical finance in Italy. The bank's solid roots are to be found in the world of the third sector organisations, of voluntary…
Intesa Sanpaolo
Intesa Sanpaolo is a banking group resulting from the merger at January 1, 2007 between Banca Intesa and Sanpaolo IMI. It has a strong international presence focused on Central-Eastern…
Mediobanca
Mediobanca is an Italian investment bank founded in 1946 at the initiative of Raffaele Mattioli (at that time CEO of Banca Commerciale Italiana, the largest bank in Italy…
UniCredit
The UniCredit Group is the result of the merger of nine of Italy's largest banks and the subsequent combination with the German HVB Group and the Italian Capitalia Group.…

Italy

Population: 60.6 million (2011)

GDP: 2.19 trillion USD (2011)


working partners
Dodgy Deals abroad financed by banks from Italy
Mochovce nuclear power plant (units 3 & 4)
Slovakia
co financed by Intesa Sanpaolo
The building of Slovakia's Mochovce 3 and 4 nuclear reactors is the longest running nuclear construction project anywhere in Europe. The reactors were designed by the Soviet…
Offshore Detention Centres
Australia
co financed by Intesa Sanpaolo, Mediobanca
Australia's system of privatised, offshore detention centres (ODCs) for asylum seekers, on remote Pacific islands, is an ongoing human rights catastrophe. Spanish company…
SOCAR Aegean Refinery
Turkey
co financed by Intesa Sanpaolo, Italian Export Credit Agency (SACE), UniCredit Group
The owner and operator of the Aegean Refinery is STAR Rafineri A.S. ("STAR") a joint stock company incorporated under the laws of Turkey. The joint venture is now 81.5% owned…
Mountain top removal coal mining
United States
co financed by UniCredit Group
Mountain top removal (MTR) mining is a form of strip mining in which coal companies use explosives to blast as much as 800 to 1,000 feet off the tops of mountains order to…
Punta Catalina-Hatillo coal power project
Dominican Republic
co financed by Italian Export Credit Agency (SACE), UniCredit Group
Punta Catalina Power Central, also known as the Hatillo power station, is a 770 megawatt coal-fired power plant under construction in Punta Catalina-Hatillo, Azua in the…
TES 6 coal power plant
Slovenia
co financed by UniCredit Group
Šoštanj in North Slovenia, 30 kilometres from the Austrian border, is the location of an existing lignite-fired power plant, Termoelektrarna Šoštanj…
Tufanbeyli coal power plant
Turkey
co financed by UniCredit Group
Enerjisa, the Turkish electricity producer owned by E.ON and Sabanci, is building a new coal power plant in Tufanbeyli, commonly known as Enerjisa 2.5. The lignite-fired…
check dodgy deals on record

Italy

Population: 60.6 million (2011)

GDP: 2.19 trillion USD (2011)


working partners
Companies located in Italy
Enel
Italy
co financed by Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena, Intesa Sanpaolo, Mediobanca, UBI Banca, UniCredit Group
Enel is Italy's largest power company and Europe's second largest according to its generating capacity. Its interests stretch beyond Italy to 40 countries on four continents.…
ENI
Italy
ENI is an Italian multi-national oil and gas company, and is currently Italy's largest industrial company.  Founded in 1953, the company engages in exploring oil and…
Companies abroad financed by banks from Italy
Anglo American
United Kingdom
co financed by Intesa Sanpaolo, UniCredit Group
Anglo American is a British multinational mining company headquartered in London, United Kingdom. It is the world's largest producer of platinum, with around 40% of world…
BHP Billiton
Australia
co financed by Intesa Sanpaolo, UniCredit Group
BHP Billiton is the world's largest mining company. It occupies significant positions in major commodity businesses, including aluminium, energy coal and metallurgical coal,…
ENGIE
France
co financed by Intesa Sanpaolo, UniCredit Group
ENGIE (known as GDF SUEZ until April 2015) is the largest independent power producer in the world. In 2013 it operated 600 power plants worldwide. It had 113.7 GW of installed…
Glencore
Switzerland
co financed by Intesa Sanpaolo, Mediobanca
Glencore plc (formerly Glencore Xstrata) is an Anglo-Swiss multinational commodity trading and mining company. The company was created through a merger of Glencore with Xstrata…
IOI Corporation
Malaysia
co financed by Intesa Sanpaolo
IOI Corporation, founded in 1969, is a Malaysian conglomerate involved in the property and plantation business, including oil palm cultivation. The company's specialty fats…
Lockheed Martin
United States
co financed by Intesa Sanpaolo
Lockheed Martin is one of the worlds largest arms-producing and military services companies. It is a global security company engaged in the research, design, development,…
National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC)
India
co financed by Intesa Sanpaolo
National Thermal Power Corporation is the largest electricity producer in India. In 2014, its total installed capacity was of 42,964 MW (including 5,974 MW through Joint…
RWE
Germany
co financed by Intesa Sanpaolo, UniCredit Group
RWE is Europe's second largest electricity generator and one of Europe's five leading gas and electricity companies. Founded in 1898, the company is active in the generation,…
Sime Darby
Malaysia
co financed by Intesa Sanpaolo
Sime Darby is a Malaysian multinational conglomerate that has operations in the plantations, property, healthcare, the energy and utilities sector. It was founded in 1910…
Vattenfall
Sweden
co financed by Intesa Sanpaolo
Sweden's state-owned Vattenfall is Europe's sixth largest generator of electricity and largest producer of heat. In 2013, Vattenfall's total installed capacity across all…
Arch Coal
United States
co financed by UniCredit Group
Arch Coal is an American coal mining and processing company. The company mines, processes, and markets bituminous and sub-bituminous coal with low sulfur content in the United…
Areva
France
co financed by UniCredit Group
Created in 2001 and 90% owned by the French state, this multinational conglomerate boasts of interests in every aspect of nuclear power from uranium mining to nuclear fuel…
DTEK
Ukraine
co financed by UniCredit Group
DTEK is an Ukranian energy holding company. It is the largest private vertically integrated energy holding in Ukraine. It was established in 2005 and is an association of…
EDF
France
co financed by UniCredit Group
Like its rival and fellow French multinational AREVA, Électricité de France (EDF) is one of the biggest players in the global energy game. In fact, with more…
EPH
Czech Republic
co financed by UniCredit Group
EPH (Energetický a Průmyslový Holding) is a Czech Republic based company currently investing mainly in the energy sector in Central Europe. The group's business…
ESKOM
South Africa
co financed by UniCredit Group
Eskom is the world's eleventh-largest power utility in terms of generating capacity and ranks ninth in terms of sales. In 2011 it had an installed generating capacity of…
Rio Tinto
Australia
co financed by UniCredit Group
Rio Tinto is a mining and exploration company involved in each stage of metal and mineral production and processing. Rio Tinto is one of the largest publicly listed mining…
check company profiles on record

Italy

Population: 60.6 million (2011)

GDP: 2.19 trillion USD (2011)


working partners
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