Carige, Popolare Bari and beyond. All M5S bank somersaults

Carige, Popolare Bari and beyond. All M5S bank somersaults

The pentastellati and the banks: history of a lively relationship spanning two legislatures. The emblematic cases of Carige and Popolare di Bari

How and how much has the Five Star Movement's attention and attitude towards banks changed in recent years?

Attempt to answer the question a paper by the consulting firm Fb & Associati with the rather eloquent title "From the 'bancocracy' to the Liquidity Decree: rapid distortion of the narration pentastellato on the banking system" .

A word used – "bancocracy" – not surprisingly and pronounced in 2017, during the conversion of the decree for the compulsory liquidation of the Venetian banks, Popolare Vicenza and Veneto Banca, then aggregated to Intesa Sanpaolo, by the then deputy Alessandro Di Battista. "False comrades who (…) give away billions of our money to private banks, false liberals subsidized by the Funds and the Italian State – he asserted -, the 5 Star Movement is here to obstruct yet another state gift to private banks and to report, in front of the whole country, the transformation of what was once a Republic passed from party politics to 'bancocracy' ".


According to FB & Associati analysts, "entry to the Government, with two different majorities, quickly" wiped out "the preconceptions that the Movement had towards the credit sector and on which it based a large part of the 2018 election campaign. this XVIII Legislature, Decrees for urgent interventions in support of banking groups have become an instrument accepted and recognized also by the Movement ".

For the public affairs , advocacy and lobbying company, “one of the reasons for this 'reality bathroom' is intrinsic to the system of small Italian companies in which the separation between ownership and control is practically non-existent, self-financing prevails over the contribution of shareholders through capital increase. In short, there is a strong propensity on the part of entrepreneurs not to invest new capital directly in the company in order to keep it instead as a guarantee for bank loans ".


The role played by the bicameral commission of inquiry into the banking and financial system is emblematic of the change in attitude. In the previous legislature the working group was led by Pierferdinando Casini (at the time Ncd-Udc) – with deputy Renato Brunetta (FI) and Mauro Maria Marino (ex Pd, now IV) – and the Movement was very active during the work: one of the most assiduous and ready to speak parliamentarians was the Sicilian deputy Alessio Villarosa, during this legislature under-secretary to the MEF with both the yellow-green and the current executive.

Today, however, the pentastellati are at the helm of the commission with Carla Ruocco, in her second parliamentary experience and until a few months ago president of the Finance Commission of the Chamber. The bicameral, however, is not conducting hearings to carry out the many investigations on the credit system – and in particular on supervision – loudly requested in the past: it is currently engaged in listening to various opinions on the decrees launched to deal with the Covid-19 emergency, first of all Liquidity.


And the very measure that sought to immediately free up resources in support of the country's productive fabric, upset by the Covid emergency, is another litmus test of the different position taken by the Movement towards banks. It is in fact a decree which, in summary, establishes a 200 billion plan for companies of different sizes: resources guaranteed by Sace and provided by banks.

A bill which is currently being converted in Parliament and which – at the press conference immediately after its launch in the Council of Ministers – was greeted with almost triumphant words as well as by the Prime Minister himself, Giuseppe Conte, by the ministers at altitude Five Stars Stefano Patuanelli (Economic Development) and Nunzia Catalfo: "Bazooka" and "firepower" are just some of the expressions used on the occasion.


If the bailout of the Veneto banks has been poorly digested by the Movement, the same cannot be said with the help provided, in one case by the yellow-green government and partially by the yellow-red government and in the other only by Count 2, for Carige and for Popolare from Bari.
As for Carige, in extraordinary administration by the ECB from January 2 2019 to January 31 last, the State intervened at the beginning of 2019 with a decree in which a fund of 1.3 billion euro was allocated, of which 1 billion to subscribe shares in order to strengthen their assets and 300 million for guarantees granted on newly issued liabilities.

Moving from Liguria (Carige) to Puglia, the landscape changes but not the modus operandi . Mediocredito Centrale , controlled by Invitalia (100% Mef) will participate in the rescue of the Popolare di Bari, which must be approved by the shareholders' meeting on 30 June together with the transformation into a spa. control with the Interbank Deposit Protection Fund (Fitd) .


Returning to the measures launched due to the pandemic, it is necessary to remember what was established in the last in order of time, the Cura Italia decree which refers in practice to what is foreseen in the Growth decree: also in this case there is a line of continuity between the two governments united by the presence of the Five Stars.

Cura Italia introduces a new advance tax conversion scheme (DTA) for companies that transfer pecuniary claims against defaulters that have expired for more than 90 days by December 31 next. Furthermore, the Dta can be transformed into a tax credit even if they are not entered in the balance sheet. Nothing but a copy of what is written in article 44- bis of the Growth decree according to which the same action could be taken but in the case of business combinations based in Southern Italy. A rule inserted precisely to favor the Popular of Bari which, however, did not avail itself of it and was helped by the State in another way.

This is a machine translation from Italian language of a post published on Start Magazine at the URL on Mon, 15 Jun 2020 13:45:33 +0000.