On 31 March 2021, the Ordinary Meeting of Shareholders approved the Bank of Italy's Annual Accounts for 2020. The balance sheet increased by €336 billion, to stand at €1,296 billion. On the asset side, securities held for monetary policy purposes and lending to euro-area credit institutions were the main items that increased. On the liability side, banks' deposits grew and the TARGET2 negative balance widened.
Gross profit before tax and transfers to the general risk provision was €10,196 million in 2020, slightly lower than the €10,756 million recorded in 2019.
The general risk provision, which under the Bank of Italy's Statute covers the risk exposure associated with its overall activity, increased by €2,500 million, i.e. €1,000 million more than in the previous year. The allocation is consistent with the goal of strengthening the financial buffers, given the significant growth in the size of the Bank's balance sheet and in its risk exposure, attributable mainly to monetary policy assets.
Taxes for the year amounted to €1,409 million (€1,009 million in 2019).
Out of the net profit of €6,286 million (€8,247 million in 2019), €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 €273 million because, pursuant to Article 3 of the Statute, dividends on shares exceeding the 3 per cent threshold, totalling €67 million, were allocated to the ordinary reserve.
Moreover, €40 million were allocated to the special item set up 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 €5,906 million.