Italy bankers’ council resigns en mass over Monti reforms

The presiding council of the Association of Italian Bankers (ABI) has resigned en masse, in protest at the liberalisation measures being pushed through by Mario Monti.

Monti has proposed to cut banks’ commissions on credit lines, as part of a broader reform programme to revitalize the Italian economy. The measure has been passed in the Senate and now awaits approval in the lower house in Parliament. It is not known yet whether the resignations have been accepted.

Giuseppe Mussari, head of the ABI, said “the measure will hit our revenues and, as a result, will hurt bank credit policy and, possibly, agreements with labor unions over work contracts”.

Mussari praised Monti and his reform programme but said that the proposed measure was “the straw that broke the camel’s back”. He demanded: “we want to be treated for what we are worth,” before calling for a return to the original proposal, which was to cut the commission for those banks that refused to be transparent.

Similar measures are affecting other areas in the Italian economy, where measures are being introduced to boost competition, including lower minimum fees for lawyers, more taxi driver licences and a relaxation of the restriction on the number of chemists. 

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