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Did inflation reduce Remini's savings?  Interview with Mattia Bari (FABI) •

Did inflation reduce Remini's savings? Interview with Mattia Bari (FABI) •

FABI, the Autonomous Federation of Italian Banks, is the most representative credit union in Italy, founded in 1948. D. Mattia BarrySince June 2023, he is one of the two Deputy Secretary-Generals at the head of the organization, appointed to assist Secretary-General Lando Maria Cellione.

Your Excellency, how much do families in Emilia-Romagna save?

In Emilia-Romagna, the financial savings of consuming households, thus excluding productive activities, amount to approximately 213 billion euros at the end of 2023, equivalent to 7.1% of the financial wealth of Italian consuming households.

How is this wealth distributed in the region?

A large part of this amount is found in the province of Bologna, with 53.8 billion euros, then Modena, with 26.5 billion euros, followed by the provinces of Reggio Emilia and Parma, with an average of 24.1 billion euros. Household savings always exceed 15 billion euros, and household savings are concentrated in Ravenna, Forli, Cesena, then Piacenza with a share of 14.9 billion euros, and finally Rimini with 13.5 billion euros and Ferrara with 13.2 billion euros.

What picture emerges from savings management?

The picture that emerges from the Emilia-Romagna savings map must admit that Rimini is the pink shirt of growth, with a jump of almost 9%, which translates quantitatively into an increase of 1.1 billion compared to the final figure for 2021. In almost equal proportion, in the regions of Bologna and Parma. Forlì Cesena, where savings grew by about 8% in 12 months, and below the regional average of 7.6%, we find the provinces of Piacenza and Ferrara, with a jump of 7%. The territories of Ravenna and Modena are still underdeveloped, but they are still growing, recording a wealth accumulation rate of 6.8% and 5.6% respectively. However, it should be noted that the increase in savings has not covered the depreciation due to inflation in recent years.

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Secretary, how are savings generated?

Although inflation has been among the highest in recent decades, more than half of the available financial wealth is still in the current accounts and deposits of Rimini families, worth 7.3 billion euros but still declining compared to previous years, when it was worth 7.9 billion euros. One billion euros in 2021 and 7.8 billion euros in 2022. In one year, the balance decreased by about half a billion euros.

What could be the reason for this decline?

This is mainly due to two factors. First: The necessity of relying on savings to confront the high costs of living. Second: Transferring resources from deposits to other investment tools that are more attractive for profitability.

So, are banks getting underpaid from current accounts?

exactly. The region's deposit rate is 0.19%, which is even lower than the national average of 0.21%. These numbers are negligible and certainly do not help compensate for the loss of purchasing power that occurs as a result of inflation. As the most representative union for banking workers, we have publicly reported this anomaly several times and asked banks to adequately compensate current accounts. Therefore, I want to clearly emphasize that the responsibility for these inadequate rates does not lie with the employees working in the bank.

How did the families deal with this situation?

For families, securities components – such as stocks, bonds, bots and mutual funds – amounted to €6.1 billion at the end of 2023, equivalent to 45.7% of the global financial portfolio. In fact, despite the high risks, up to €1.6 billion has been raised in just three years. Therefore qualified advice from those who work in banks remains essential to manage savings better.

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Does the role of banking services remain essential despite technological innovation?

Yes, people's work is indispensable. Because moving in a complex economic context without expert advice is very difficult and risky.

How does the Province of Rimini present itself in terms of loans?

On the lending front, some slowdown can be seen. Households do not partially give up on purchasing consumer goods, but rather wait for better times for long-term investments, which coincide little with the general rise in prices. In fact, if consumer credit grows by 6.6% in 2023, or by about 45 million euros compared to the previous year and by about 90 million euros compared to 2021, the situation is different for mortgages and other longer-term loans. For these people, the decline ranges from 2.9% for home purchases, which is approximately 53 million euros, to 0.7% for other types of financing, which reach a figure of 878 million euros, compared to 885 million euros at the end of 2022.

Is everything okay then?

Let's say it is predictable compared to the scenario, however, data on consumer credit should be monitored with great interest. The tendency to borrow amounts that are not particularly significant can also be an indicator of more serious economic distress.