The recent global financial crisis has contributed to a resurgence of academic interest in financial sector groups and their ability to ‘get what they want’ in policymaking. A widespread belief is that financial regulations are actively designed by, and intended to serve the interests of, the regulated actors themselves. In other words, banks (and their associations) are generally considered to be very powerful, either in shaping policy reforms, or in successfully vetoing unwelcome reform proposals. This view is far from uncommon in Italy either: indeed, Italian journalists and political analysts usually consider the Italian Bankers’ Association (ABI) to be a potere forte (‘strong power’) par excellence. However, is this common view empirically demonstrable? In order to answer this question, the present work builds upon the interest-group literature to try to explain the degree of success of the ABI with respect to three very important policy initiatives that have shaped the regulation of the Italian banking sector since the period between 2006 and 2012. Empirical findings are quite surprising: contrary to expectations, the ABI appears to be less able to attain its policy preferences than is commonly assumed.

Do financial groups always ‘get what they want’? The case of the Italian Bankers’ Association (ABI), 2006-2012

PRITONI, Andrea
2016

Abstract

The recent global financial crisis has contributed to a resurgence of academic interest in financial sector groups and their ability to ‘get what they want’ in policymaking. A widespread belief is that financial regulations are actively designed by, and intended to serve the interests of, the regulated actors themselves. In other words, banks (and their associations) are generally considered to be very powerful, either in shaping policy reforms, or in successfully vetoing unwelcome reform proposals. This view is far from uncommon in Italy either: indeed, Italian journalists and political analysts usually consider the Italian Bankers’ Association (ABI) to be a potere forte (‘strong power’) par excellence. However, is this common view empirically demonstrable? In order to answer this question, the present work builds upon the interest-group literature to try to explain the degree of success of the ABI with respect to three very important policy initiatives that have shaped the regulation of the Italian banking sector since the period between 2006 and 2012. Empirical findings are quite surprising: contrary to expectations, the ABI appears to be less able to attain its policy preferences than is commonly assumed.
Settore SPS/04 - Scienza Politica
Banks; Interest groups; Italy; Liberalization; Public policy;
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11384/63622
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