The Eurosystem conducts foreign exchange operations in accordance with Articles 127 and 219 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. Within the Eurosystem, the Bank of Italy may be called upon to intervene on the market together with the other national central banks (NCBs) and the European Central Bank (ECB).
The Bank of Italy may also be asked to intervene in connection with the Exchange Rate Mechanism II (ERM II), which sets out the main lines of cooperation in exchange rate policies between the ECB and the NCBs in EU member states that have not adopted the euro.
Foreign exchange operations may also be used to alter the composition of the Bank’s foreign currency reserves in order to achieve the best balance between risk and return.
Lastly, the Bank of Italy may be required to buy and sell foreign currency with market counterparties in connection with the servicing of the country’s foreign currency debt, in order to balance inflows and outflows without changing the amount or composition of foreign currency reserves.
The Bank analyses the performance of the main currencies daily, using information provided by the main news agencies and market operators.
The Bank of Italy also makes available, in compliance with Italian law, the average monthly and yearly exchange rates valid for fiscal purposes, which it then notifies to the Ministry for the Economy and Finance for publication in the Gazzetta Ufficiale della Repubblica Italiana (Official Journal). The relevant acts are the Consolidated Law on Income Tax DPR 917/86(Article 110) and Decree Law 167/90 (Article 4).
Database of foreign exchange rates (daily publication and historical series)
The Bank of Italy's database of exchange rates (which includes that of the former Ufficio Italiano dei Cambi updated to 31 December 2007) reconstructs the exchange rate quotations of the US dollar, French franc, Swiss franc and pound sterling against the Italian lira from 1 February 1918. The quotations of the other countries’ currencies against the lira are available from later dates as they progressively gained importance among Italy's trading partners.
The cross-rates of the single currencies are available from August 1955, according to their availability in the database of exchange rates.
Starting in December 1963 quotations against the Italian lira were recorded for a further seventeen currencies. Several other currencies have been added in the course of years: the start date for each is shown in the currency list on the website.