Banca Romana scandal
The Banca Romana scandal surfaced January 1893. The scandal was the first of many Italian corruption scandals, and, like the others, it discredited the whole political system.

A careful investigation by a governmental commission in 1889 had found that 91 percent of the assets of the Banca Romana were illiquid. Moreover, the bank’s directors had committed a criminal offence by permitting an additional number of banknotes with double numbering to be printed.

The Banca Romana had loaned large sums to property developers but was left with huge liabilities when the real estate bubble collapsed in 1887. Then Prime Minister Francesco Crispi
Francesco Crispi
Francesco Crispi was a 19th-century Italian politician of Arbëreshë ancestry. He was instrumental in the unification of Italy and was its 17th and 20th Prime Minister from 1887 until 1891 and again from 1893 until 1896.-Sicily:Crispi’s paternal family came originally from the small agricultural...

 and his Treasury Minister Giovanni Giolitti
Giovanni Giolitti
Giovanni Giolitti was an Italian statesman. He was the 19th, 25th, 29th, 32nd and 37th Prime Minister of Italy between 1892 and 1921. A left-wing liberal, Giolitti's periods in office were notable for the passage of a wide range of progressive social reforms which improved the living standards of...

 knew of the 1889 a government inspection report, but kept it secret. Giolitti, who was prime minister from May 1892 to November 1893, tried to get the governor of Banca Romana, Bernardo Tanlongo, appointed as senator which would have given him immunity from prosecution.

Before Giolitti could appoint the former bank governor, the report was leaked to republican deputies Napoleone Colajanni
Napoleone Colajanni
Napoleone Colajanni was an Italian writer, journalist, criminologist, socialist and politician. In the 1880s he abandoned republicanism for socialism, and became Italy’s leading theoretical writer on the issue for a time...

and Gavazzi who divulged its contents to the Parliament at the end of 1892. Politicians had received money to finance their election expenses and to run or bribe newspapers. In January 1893, Tanlongo was arrested but he was acquitted by the Court in July 1894. Giolitti had to resign on November 24, 1893, as a result of the Banca Romana affair.

The scandal prompted a new examination and speeded up the legislative process towards a new banking law.
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