Surveillance has a crucial issue in banking history. In the first three decades after the Risorgimento the Italian gouvernment maintained a mild and ineffective control on the banking system and particular on the six issuing banks. This was due partly to inevitable administrative failings in a newcomer kingdom, where relations and checks between public and private institutions still needed to build; and partly to a weak political will, that deaf to the ideas of the most advanced European countries, already oriented towards central banking.The Italian government tried to perpetuate the six issuing banks, only to increase at the regional level its political influence and patronage. Administrative inexperience and especially the lack of a clear and coherent banking policy were the problems that worsened the economic crisis of the early Nineties.
Keywords: Issuing banks, public administration, Giolitti, banking surveillance, regional élites, 1889.