The Directorate IV of the Department of the Treasury is responsible for the regulation of consumer protections and actively takes part in initiatives to promote financial education.
The Department of the Treasury has undertaken many activities that have supported and coordinated regulations, including, for example, the regulation that allowed for the renegotiation of mortgages as of 2008 or the start-up of basic accounts in 2012.
The activity also includes the proper ratification of European regulations into Italian law. Recently, this process gave a new impetus to the regulation of the banking and financial services market with the objective of improving information provided to consumers in order to protect them in their investment and savings decisions
Financial products and services: European regulations about the protection of consumers
The European Parliament's and European Council's Directive 2014/17/EU of 4 February 2014 in relation to loan contracts to consumers regarding residential real property to be ratified into Italian law by 21 March 2016) has the purpose of enhancing the consumer's capacity to take independently informed and responsible decisions regarding the subject of taking out loans and managing debt. The directive requires Member States to promote measures to support consumer education about responsibly taking on loans and managing debt, in particular for mortgage loan contracts, considering it is particularly important to provide guidelines to consumers who are entering into mortgage contracts for the first time.
The European Parliament's and European Council's Directive 2014/92/EU of 23 July 2014 concerns the comparability of expenses related to payment accounts, transfers to payment accounts and access to payment accounts with basic characteristics (to be ratified into Italian law by 18 September 2016). The directive requires Member States to promote measures to support education of the most vulnerable consumers, providing them with guidelines and assistance for the responsible management of their finances. The directive also requires the Member States to inform consumers about the guidelines and assistance that consumer organisations and national authorities can provide.