Italian Renaissance

Market View by Robert Benson

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The Italian financial system is once again in the spotlight. Cross-border mergers, or potential mergers, in the banking industry have hit the headlines with the usual mix of political intrigue and a whiff of financial scandal.

Press reports frequently highlight the attraction of Italian banking to foreign buyers. It is regarded as relatively uncompetitive, with high savings ratios and an underdeveloped lending market. But there is one area of the Italian retail financial system that has wit

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