Commercial Bank of Italy

Commercial Bank of Italy

 

(Banca Commerciale Italiana), one of the largest joint-stock banks in Italy. Together with the Bank of Rome and the Italian Credit Bank, it is a bank of national significance.

The Commercial Bank of Italy was founded in 1894 in Milan with an initial capital of 20 million lire. German capital owned 75 percent of the shares. During the world economic crisis of 1929– the bank was on the verge of bankruptcy but was saved by a governmental subsidy of 5 billion lire, granted on the condition that the government be sold 95 percent of its shares. Since the 1960’s these shares have belonged to the state-owned Institute for the Reconstruction of Industry (IRI). By law the bank has the right to give only short-term credit; in giving medium-term credit it acts through Mediobanca, the bank of medium-term credit founded in 1946 by the three banks of national significance. It acts as a go-between in the floating of securities of joint-stock companies, finances foreign trade, and assists in the export of capital. It is closely connected with West German banks.

By 1972 the Commercial Bank of Italy had 283 branches and offices in Italy, one branch in the USA, one in Great Britain, one in Singapore, and two in Turkey and representatives in Paris, Tokyo, Frankfurt am Main, Sydney, Cairo, and Mexico City. It owns a subsidiary bank in Paris with ten branches (1972). Its balance total as of 1972 amounted to 6.73 trillion lire, deposits were 5.733 trillion lire, loans were 3.108 trillion lire, and capital and reserves were 80 billion lire. M. Iu. Bortnik

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