Italian banks and financial intermediaries are subject to extensive regulation which has evolved throughout the country's history. There has also been much change to the country's financial regulation in recent years in response to the globalization of markets and intermediaries. The Italian administrative and regulatory system is often perceived as a major obstacle to economic productivity, and some causes of this ineffectiveness are deeply rooted and date back to the Italian unification and juridical culture. This book provides an overview of the Italian regulation of banking and financial activities, and tracks the evolution of its 'economic Constitution' and market trends. It explores a range of topics within Italian regulation, including the regulation of banking activities, investment services and collective portfolio management. It examines in detail the relationship between intermediaries and customers, public offerings of financial instruments and products, public takeover bids, listed companies, insurance and reinsurance business. Among other current topics the authors discuss the link between investor protection and confidence in the financial markets; and assess the financial markets as a source of financing for companies.