We report an article published in September 2016 in Repubblica.it about the findings of an Eurispes survey on the phenomenon of usury in Italy:

The picture taken by Eurispes: 12 percent of households turned to private individuals since they could not get a loan from banks. Among businesses, those in agriculture, trade and services were most affected.

Usura Spa had a turnover of 82 billion euros last year, more than what Italy’s largest company, Eni, invoices. The figure emerges from the Eurispes survey, according to which in the past two years about 12 percent of households (out of a total of 24.6 million households) have turned to private parties (not relatives or friends) to obtain a loan, unable to obtain it from the banking system. Remaining only on the household front, the estimate is that the loan amounts, on average, to 10,000 euros (also requested on several occasions), amounting to 30 billion euros for 3 million households in the role of victims.

According to the research, the phenomenon affects one in ten companies in the agriculture, trade and service sectors. And the perpetrators are not only the criminal organizations, the Mafia in the lead, but also a number of “unsuspects” who have taken advantage of the crisis to enrich themselves at the expense of those who have ended up with the water under their throats.

The report indicates that while the regions at greatest risk remain those in the South and Islands, the danger is also spreading significantly to Central Italy, with the province most exposed overall being Parma, followed by Crotone, Syracuse, Foggia, Trapani, Vibo Valentia and Palermo. Not even the North is immune since Aosta and Biella are also in the medium-high risk bracket. “Criminal organizations,” explains Gian Maria Fara, president of Eurispes. have well understood that usury is an extraordinarily effective method: on the one hand to launder dirty money and easily obtain huge profits, and on the other hand to take possession of those businesses and activities that are unable to meet their debts. All this with lower risks than those associated with other illicit activities such as drug trafficking.”. “Today,” Fara further observes. we know that the figure of the moneylender is not only traceable among criminals and mobsters, but also present among the ‘unsuspected’: shopkeepers, accountants, lawyers, and civil servants, who have taken advantage of the long period of economic crisis and the indebtedness of families, merchants and entrepreneurs to enrich themselves, bolstered by the increasing difficulties in accessing bank credit. And a new figure was born: that of the moneylender next door.”.

Source : http://www.repubblica.it/economia/2016/09/07/news/eurispes_usura-147323725/?ref=search

Service of Buongiorno Regione Campania (TGR RAI) on September 20, 2016 (min 10 or so):