Last update July 5, 2013
Directa is a member of the Fondo Nazionale di Garanzia (National Guarantee Fund) along with the most important Italian Securities Firms (Banks, broker-dealers, SIMs)
Customer accounts at Directa are protected by the Fondo Nazionale di Garanzia, for a maximum coverage of 20,000.
It is important to bear in mind that, unlike banks, SIMs must keep their clients money deposited in a THIRD PARTY ACCOUNT, from which they are obliged to withdraw funds exclusively to pay the purchases, expenses and margins owed to each client within the limits of his liquid assets.
For any other considerations, such as insufficient assets on the part of the client, or the need to grant a loan, SIMs must draw from their own funds.
The "Fondo Nazionale di Garanzia" therefore constitutes an additional safeguard which only releases funds in the case of a serious violation, or criminal activity on the part of the SIM management.
In "standard" cases of bankruptcy (or "compulsory liquidation") when costs exceed revenues, or operations performed on their own behalf incur losses, only the creditors of the SIM will be harmed, not the clients. The third party account "cannot be attacked"; in other words it remains entirely available to reimburse funds to each client (art. 22 of leg. Decree 58 of February 24, 1998).
Where Directa is concerned, the possibility of losses on stock exchange operations have been prevented at the source, by prohibiting trading on its own account for which no authorization has even been applied for.
To manage risk properly, the financial statements of asset, and financial situations of the SIMs, are checked every month by Banca d'Italia (Bank of Italy). The trend of the companies' liquid assets, specific financial statement indices, and risk coefficients, are verified so that if necessary, the SIM's activities can be suspended before the SIM becomes insolvent.
This mechanism is adopted and valid for banks in all developed countries, where it is considered almost impossible (albeit not technically guaranteed) for a bank to become insolvent towards its account holders. It is for this reason that SIMs - and brokers outside Italy - are obliged to keep their clients money in bank accounts.
Anyone who feels more secure entrusting his funds and stocks to a bank rather than to a SIM, can choose to take advantage of Directa's services by depositing his capital in a participating bank, in a special "Directa account", which will be used exclusively for trading.
The bank will thus be exclusively for the funds and their securities.
The banks operating methods, which avoids any charge to the client for transfering funds, will consist in depositing the securities with Directa and maintaining the liquid assets in the bank. The bank only pays and receives the difference between purchases and sales, debits and credits on margins, or other deficits from all "Directa accounts" daily.