Annual Accounts - Year 2019Ordinary Meeting of Shareholders - 31 March 2020

On 31 March 2020, the Ordinary Meeting of Shareholders approved the Bank of Italy's Annual Accounts for 2019. The balance sheet decreased slightly, by €8 billion, to stand at €960 billion. The decline on the asset side was mainly attributable to refinancing operations to credit institutions, while the Bank's negative balance in connection with the TARGET2 payment system was largely responsible for the decrease on the liability side.

Gross profit before tax and transfers to the general risk provision was €10,756 million, significantly higher than the €8,895 million recorded in 2018.

The general risk provision, which under the Bank of Italy's Statute covers its overall exposure to risk, increased by €1,500 million, the same amount as the previous year, in order to continue the gradual strengthening of the financial buffers, taking into account the size of the balance sheet and the Bank's overall risk exposure, connected mainly to securities purchased under monetary policy programmes, which were restarted last November.

Taxes for the year amounted to €1,009 million (€1,155 million in 2018).

Out of the net profit of €8,247 million (€6,240 million in 2018), €340 million were allocated to the shareholders in the form of dividends, the same amount as last year. However, the amount of dividends actually paid was €251 million because, pursuant to Article 3 of the Statute, dividends on shares exceeding the 3 per cent threshold, totalling €89 million, were allocated to the ordinary reserve.

Moreover, €40 million were allocated to the special item set up in 2016 annual accounts for the long-term stabilization of the net profits to be paid to shareholders under the dividend policy in force.

The amount assigned to the State is equal to €7,867 million.

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Address by Governor Ignazio Visco