Banking and financial supervision

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Supervision: what it is and how it works

The Bank of Italy supervises banks and non-banking intermediaries entered in specific registers. Since November 2014 this supervision has been conducted within the framework of the Single Supervisory Mechanism.

Supervisory activities are carried out by the Directorate General for Financial Supervision and Regulation at the Bank of Italy's Head Office in Rome and by its branch network.

In addition to on- and off-site inspections to verify compliance with the requirements for engaging in banking and financial activities, the Bank of Italy's supervisory action extends toactivities include the adoption of administrative measures. The most important measures involving banks are authorizations, sanctions, and those relating to the management of problematic situations.

As national supervisor, the Bank of Italy also provides services directly to the public: it handles complaints, runs the technical secretariats for the Banking and Financial Ombudsman, promotes financial education and publishes information on individuals or companies not authorized to carry out banking or financial activities in Italy and other more general notices and communications. It also conducts analyses on the banking and financial system.

The Bank of Italy reports on its supervisory procedures and informs the public of the most important banking and financial issues through a variety of forums and channels, including the Annual Report and the Report on Operations and Activities of the Bank of Italy.

The Bank of Italy's supervisory powers have their legal basis in a regulatory framework that encompasses international, European Union and national laws.


  • 9 April 2018 - New Note on Financial Stability and Supervision
    No. 12 - Do high levels of NPLs impair banks' credit allocation?
    The Bank of Italy released a Note on Financial Stability and Supervision regarding non-performing loans (NPLs).

  • 10 february 2018 - Speech by Governor Visco at the 24th Congress of ASSIOM FOREX
    Ignazio Visco, Governor of the Bank of Italy, addresses the 24th Congress of ASSIOM FOREX (the Italian financial markets association) in Verona.
  • 23 gennaio 2018 - Bank Lending Survey (BLS)
    In the final quarter of 2017 credit supply standards for new mortgage lending to firms and households were basically unchanged, while for the first quarter of the new year, banks anticipate a moderate eas ing of supply conditions for both firms and households. Credit demand by firms registered an increase that prim arily reflects fixed-investment needs; demand for home purchase loans by households also expanded moderately, buoyed by the favourable outlook for the real esta te market. Banks expect credit demand to strenghten further this quarter.
  • 28 December 2017 - Occasional Papers No. 417 - Risks and challenges of complex financial instruments: an analysis of SSM banks
    We investigate the valuation risk affecting financial instruments classified as L2 and L3 for accounting purposes. These are instruments that are not directly traded in active markets and are often relatively complex, opaque and illiquid. There is a huge volume of L2 and L3 instruments in the balance sheets of SSM banks. We highlight that these instruments
    share some characteristics with NPLs (illiquidity, opacity), and argue that the risk they pose might also be comparable.
  • 24 November 2017 - Financial Stability Report No. 2 - 2017
  • 14 November 2017 - New Note on Financial Stability and Supervision
    No. 11 - Bad loan recovery rates in 2016. This note updates the bad loan recovery rates estimated in Notes on Financial Stability and Supervision, No. 7, and provides a comparative analysis of the characteristics of closed bad loan positions relative to stocks outstanding at the end of 2016.

Relevant issues

Related Topics

Financial Stability

The financial system is a complex infrastructure that allows households, firms, general government entities and other economic agents to make payments, transfer resources and manage risks.

Resolution and crisis management

Italy’s Legislative Decree 72/2015 and the 2014 European Delegation Law, approved on 2 July 2015, conferred the functions of National Resolution Authority on the Bank of Italy. The Bank has accordingly established a Resolution and Crisis Management Unit, which carries out the preliminary and operational tasks envisaged by the Single Resolution Mechanism, cooperates with the SRB’s offices, and manages the liquidation procedures for banks and investment firms.

Complaints concerning banking and financial services

By submitting a complaint to the Bank of Italy, the customer can report behaviors by the banks or financial intermediaries that he or she deems irregular or wrong. The complaints are a very important source of information allowing the Bank of Italy to perform its Supervisory Function. Pursuant to Law no. 241 of 1990, the submission of a complaint does not start an administrative procedure.