January 10, 2008
Italy's First Class Action Suit Targets Banks
Reuters reports that Italian consumer group Adusbef plans to bring a class suit against Italian banks for calculating compound interest on the initial loan plus interest that accumulates when the money is due. Apparently this practice is known as "anatocism." According to Italy's National Report (posted on Stanford's website on the Globalization of Class Actions), "Italy does not have any form of group litigation as a general procedural tool for the protection and the enforcement of rights and interests shared by a group of individuals equally affected by the same mass wrong or harm." But the report does acknowledge that there are a few "collective actions" (suggesting that perhaps the use of "class action" by Reuters is a bit hasty) that address certain subjects and can be filed by consumer associations, such as Adusbef. Granted, the report notes that there are roughly six bills proposing collective actions pending before Parliament.
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