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Is your money safe? What Italians know about deposit insurance

By Laura Bartiloro

Abstract

The recent financial crisis has revived the debate on deposit insurance. Public awareness of its existence is essential in order to prevent a bank run. Analysing the results of three questions on this topic introduced in the last Survey on Household Income and Wealth, this paper investigates knowledge of the existence of the Italian deposit insurance scheme and its main characteristics among a sample of households. Evidence shows that knowledge of deposit insurance is poor: 70 per cent of the households in the sample are completely unaware of its existence, 23 per cent possess only basic knowledge, and just 7 per cent have detailed information. The available data allow us to outline possible determinants of deposit insurance awareness: the results highlight the importance of the Internet and of income and education, as expected; in addition, men seem to be better informed than women.deposit insurance, public awareness

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