The International and Regulatory Affairs Department is committed at all times to managing relations with institutions and organisations, monitoring existing regulations and overseeing advocacy activities for any bills that could impact the activities of the Group and its stakeholders at a national, European and international level, with a view to limiting legal, economic and reputational risk and developing new opportunities.
The Department constantly monitors and promotes free competition, working to ensure that international, European and national rules and procedures on competition are effectively applied and complied with. It is committed to disseminating a culture of compliance with the antitrust regulations at all levels of the Group and with third-party stakeholders, trade partners, suppliers and customers.
With a view to further strengthening monitoring activities, a partial review of the Policy of Compliance with European Union Competition Law – adopted in 2009 – was started, to align with some regulatory developments and new legislative and case law guidelines regarding the Supervisory Authorities' acknowledgement and promotion of antitrust compliance programmes, rules on mergers, corporate governance, state aid and unfair commercial practices.
Consequently, the scope of monitoring was extended not only regarding more traditional antitrust areas (mergers, abuse of dominant positions and agreements), but also regarding EU regulations on state aid and recent Italian regulations in support of Italy's competitiveness. The decision to adopt an Antitrust Compliance Programme, which goes beyond regulations, involves higher standards of conduct and in this respect information and training for internal and external stakeholders continued, in the belief that protection and development of competition benefit all.
As regards anti-trust proceedings involving Group companies, a proceeding against the Italian Banking Association and subsequently against eleven member banks including Intesa Sanpaolo, to ascertain the lawfulness of the interbank agreement on the SEDA service price, offered by banks to market operators, is pending.