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Banking, Currency, and Finance in Europe Between the Wars$
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Charles H. Feinstein

Print publication date: 1995

Print ISBN-13: 9780198288039

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0198288034.001.0001

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Italian Banking, 1919–1936

Italian Banking, 1919–1936

(p.296) 10 Italian Banking, 1919–1936
Banking, Currency, and Finance in Europe Between the Wars

Gianni Toniolo

Oxford University Press

Examines the evolution of the Italian banking industry, with particular reference to the behaviour of the mixed (universal) banks, and to the relief operations that culminated in extensive state involvement in industry. The process began with the banking crisis of 1921–22, when the State used the Bank of Italy to rescue both—a major bank and a large industrial concern. In the 1920s, the banks acquired industrial stocks on a massive scale, and many ended with risky and illiquid portfolios. When industrial demand collapsed in 1931, there was the potential for a major banking crisis, and this was only averted by substantial secret loans and last‐resort credits to the banks from the State and the Bank of Italy. State ownership of the industrial concerns was formally recognized by the creation in 1933 of IRI (Istituto per la Ricostruzione Industriale), and the banking system was reorganized under the Banking Act of 1936.

Keywords:   banking crisis, banking system, banks, demand, industry, Italy, loans, relief, state ownership, stocks

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