The role of compliance in Italian
Scienze Giuridiche, Societa
`e Sport, University of Palermo, Italy
Purpose –This paper aims to analyze the role of compliance in Italian banking system and to verify its
efciency in terms of protection of stability and credibility of nancial institutions, comparing solutions
adopted in other European countries.
Design/methodology/approach –The research uses a comparative approach by examining the
different solutions adopted in other European countries for nding analogies and differences between them.
Findings –The research has discovered a smaller development of Compliance Function in Italian banks,
whose compliance risk frameworks are often still in an experimental stage rather than in other systems banks.
Research limitations/implications –A uniform model in the structure of nancial institutions can be
adopted to enforce the effectiveness of national regulations.
Practical implications –To ensure the independence and effectiveness of the Compliance Function, the
nancial institutions, especially the Italian ones, must pay great attention to the essential elements for good
practices, such as a clearly dened apportionment of responsibilities and unambiguous reporting.
Social implications –The compliance culture must successfully reinforce itself in Italian rms, and for
this purpose, it is necessary to persuade senior management that compliance is not a cost that should be
Originality/value –The Italian regulatory framework concerning the Compliance Function has
represented a challenge for the banking industry, which should undergo a reorganization process focused on
a different way of allocating responsibilities, so different solutions to the problem can be found by national
legislators who need to be coordinated at an international level.
Keywords Compliance, Banking
Paper type Research paper
The raising complexity of banking management, the need to protect customers’ privacy
and the greater weight of laws and codes of conduct are the most important causes of an
increasingly high vulnerability of banks to non-traditional risks. Over the past years, it
has become clear that risks different from credit and market risks ones are, more than
ever, signicant for the stability and credibility of nancial institutions: in primis,
reputation, legal and operational risks.
The reasons mentioned above have stimulated in Italy a large number of studies and
regulations on compliance matters, both within the International nancial community,
referring particularly to Basel Committee on Banking Supervision (2005) and
International Organization of Securities Commissions (2006), and within the national
level corresponding to Bank of Italy.
Indeed, Italian legislator has dedicated his attention to the compliance matter since
the beginning of the 1990s, issuing laws that have increasingly focused on the
provisions observance. Among these, I remember laws against money laundering, laws
on privacy, laws on industrial safety and health, on the nancial intermediation and on
the administrative liability of legal persons. However, compliance issues have received
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Journalof Financial Crime
Vol.24 No. 1, 2017
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