Italy will see more bank mergers, MPS president predicts

Profumo expresses cautious support for 'bad bank'

(ANSA) - Rome, February 26 - Monte dei Paschi di Siena (MPS) bank president Alessandro Profumo said Thursday the Italian banking system will undergo mergers to create bigger groups and accused the European Central Bank (ECB) of penalising banks on the peninsula.
    "The Italian banking system will undergo profound transformations," Profumo told the Senate finance committee.
    "The crisis has reduced the number of groups in recent years, but with European Union vigilance intense aggregation, both domestic and across borders, will resume".
    The ECB assessment of the European banking system "has penalised Italian banks," he claimed. "As a country, we have to be more aggressive in influencing decisions," he added.
    "We need to send our best people into Europe".
    Profumo indicated he was cautiously in favour of the project for a "bad bank".
    "I am in favour of something that allows (bad loans) to be managed in a systematic way".
    Asked if he will stand for a second mandate as head of the troubled Siena bank, Profumo said "I haven't decided yet".


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