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“With the excuse of the green transition the EU cancels the Italian banks”

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“With the excuse of the green transition the EU cancels the Italian banks”

The European Commission could propose regulatory changes aimed at removing current supervisory obstacles to the creation of European banking entities that can compete with the American giants.
Lando Maria Sileoni, general secretary of Fabi, explains to Verità why this move could jeopardize Italian banks.

Sileoni, what is happening in Europe, regarding banks?
«Madness. Yet another, if you allow me. The European Parliament is studying, with the lights off, the possibility of eliminating the current limits on supranational mergers. The basic idea, which I don’t agree with, is to put European banks in a position to repel possible attacks by the big American giants.”

And what risks are there for Italy?
«The risk is to wipe out the Italian banks which, on paper, could be the subject of hostile operations by the two or three main European groups. I am referring to some French and Spanish groups.
Suffice it to say that we have the Golden power, which intervenes in the event of the sale of strategic Italian companies.
The first initiative they could undertake at a European level is to create the conditions to overcome the national rule on Golden power. Then, if the ECB agreed, they could create more stringent parameters for carrying out banking group activities. I am referring to values ​​such as, for example, capital requirements which concern the fundamentals of a bank.”

But where would the national bank collection deriving from managed savings end up?
«In the event that large international groups were to take over Italian banks, the national collection would end up entirely with them, abroad».

Why is the European Union moving in this direction?
«The reason cannot be shared. The European Union is preparing the ground and has entrusted a study to some experts, including Italians who in the past were at the top of the European Central Bank. They start from the assumption that in the coming months and years there will be transformations in the environmental, digital, strategic and military fields, arguing that all this will lead to the need to have large European and not national banking groups”.

Disagrees?
“Not at all’. It’s a good excuse to weaken some countries, including Italy. They are creating the problem that isn’t there. It is an unjustified alarm. My feeling is that we run the risk of repeating the terrible experience of the bail in directive. In 2014 the rules on bank bailouts, which introduced the clumsy principle according to which even current accounts with a balance exceeding 100,000 euros can be canceled in the event of failure, were approved by all countries with an almost unanimous vote of the parties, including Italians: he voted against Fratelli d’Italia, while the League was divided between those against and abstentions. Then there was great silence for over a year on the part of some parties and we noticed the damage after the deadline, when in the autumn of 2015 it was time to intervene for the four banks of Etruria, Marche, Chieti and Ferrara”.

Is there any possibility of intervening now to prevent this new European Union banking initiative from going all the way?
«There are times, but it’s all a political question. The Italian government must first understand what is happening in Strasbourg and Brussels, then it must make itself heard. There is a national interest at stake that needs to be protected. Our banks are fundamental to supporting our economy, our businesses, families, consumption and those who work there. Can we afford to have only or almost only foreign banks? And then there is another question.” Which? «Family savings. The financial wealth of Italians is worth 5,200 billion euros, almost double the public debt and three times the country’s GDP. All that money is tempting for the big financial managers and, if they don’t stop this initiative, we run the risk that it will be managed more in the interest of other economies and less of ours. Frankly, it would mean being financially colonized.” Let’s leave Europe for a moment and return to our borders. Will anything move on the so-called banking risk chessboard? «We are in the phase of explorations and contacts between all the CEOs of the main groups. Who study more than one option. But nothing will move before the European elections. The first moves will start immediately afterwards. As far as trade union aspects are concerned, we are ready to manage everything, we always have. We are always driven by a great sense of responsibility, vision and foresight. Will MPS also be involved in these operations? «I continue to hope that MPS remains autonomous. The CEO Luigi Lovaglio is carrying out an excellent job and I am convinced that he has created the conditions for the bank to walk with his feet. The government coordinated everything impeccably and could now negotiate an extension with the European Union. Otherwise, by the end of the year the Treasury, which now has 39% of the bank, will have to exit the capital”

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