1902 Encyclopedia > Italy > Banks

(Part 26)



By the law of April 30th 1874, the right of issuing bank notes was limited to six banks—the National Bank of the Kingdom of Italy founded by the Sardinian law of 1850, the National Tuscan Bank founded by the grand-duke in 1857, the Roman Bank constituted by papal authority in 1850, the Tuscan Bank of Credit for industry and commerce established by the provisional Tuscan Government in 1860, the Bank of Naples dating from 1816, and the Bank of Sicily due to a decree of 1843. The two Tuscan banks and the Roman and the National Bank are joint-stock companies, with their capital subscribed in shares. The capital of the four joint-stock banks amounted in the aggregate to 255,000,000 lire, of which 200,000,000 belonged to the National Bank, 30,000,000 to the National Tuscan, 15,000,000 to the Roman, and 10,000,000 to the Tuscan Credit. By the law of 1874 the Bank of Naples was authorized to carry its capital by 1885 to 48,750,000 lire, and the Bank of Sicily to 12,000,000 ; the actual amounts in 1877 were 39,000,000 in the one case, and 9,200,000 in the other. The law just mentioned united the six banks into a consorzio or union, bound if required to furnish to the national exchequer bank-notes to the value of 1,000,000,000 lire manufactured and renewed at their common expense ; but by the law of 7th April 1881 (mentioned in detail further on) the consorzio ceased on the 30th June 1881. The following table (XLVII.) indicates the position of the issue of bank notes both by the consortium and by the individual banks on their own account on the 30th September 1880.

== TABLE ==

The total aggregate amounts to nearly 1,665,000,000 lire. The following table (XLVIII.) gives details (the amounts in millions of lire) as to the working of the institutions in 1879 :—

== TABLE ==

The total amount of the circulation and deposits of all the six banks thus amounted to 863,160,000 lire, while that of the Bank of England alone at the same date was 1,657,234,000.

The following table (XLIX.) indicates the number of the various joint-stock credit institutions at the close of 1878 :—

== TABLE ==

In 1869 the corresponding list comprised 352 institutions, with a total capital of 1,576,834,299 lire. The agrarian banks were instituted by the Act of June 21, 1869, and in 1870 they were three in number, with a capital of 6,450,000 lire. The twelve existing in 1879 were situated at Alessandria, Asti, Bologna, Oristano (in Sardinia), Cagliari (in Sardinia), Arbora and Casalmaggiore, Florence, Mantua, Terranuova Pausania, Siena, and Cologna Veneta.

The minister of agriculture published in 1880 an account of the friendly societies in the kingdom (Statistica delle Società di mutuo Soccorso, anno 1878), from which it appears they are rapidly on the increase. In the following table (L. ) the second column gives the population of the country, the third the number of societies known to exist, the fourth the number of the societies which gave information of their strength to the Government, and the fifth the number of the members :—

== TABLE ==

It appears that 50 of these societies existed before 1850, and that 186 were commenced between that year and 1861. How rapid the increase has been is shown by the fact that in 1876, 1877, and 1878 there were nearly as many new societies started annually as in that decade. Piedmont, Lombardy, Tuscany, and Sicily are the districts where the number is greatest. For the most part the societies are open to operatives in any trade or industry, but at least 391 are exclusively intended for some particular class—e.g., doctors, employes, teachers, &c. Of the 2091 indicated, 1537 are for men only, 70 for women only, and 484 for either.

Banche popolari, or people's banks, corresponding to the Credit-genossenschaften of Germany, have increased in number from 40 in 1869 to 123 in 1878. From a paper by Luzzati, the enthusiastic and laborious president of the association of the people's banks, we find that 84 of these institutions which furnished him with details of their working had at the close of 1877 a capital of 34,941,593 lire, divided into 710,869 shares, and a reserve fund of 10,436,143 lire. The greater number of these banks are in Lombardy, Venice, Piedmont, and Liguria. Societies of ordinary credit increased from 19 in 1869 to 143 in 1873, hut by 1878 the number had again sunk to 102, owing to the monetary crises through which the country had passed.

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