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ABI says no to Spanish-style 'bad bank' or mega-merger

Italian banks call for lower spreads and Europe-wide norms

26 November, 16:28
ABI says no to Spanish-style 'bad bank' or mega-merger (see related) (ANSA) - Rome, November 26 - Italian bank association ABI declared on Monday that Italy does not need a "bad bank" for toxic assets following the Spanish model, nor does it need a major merger among banks like Spain.

The heads of ABI claimed Italian banks instead need easing of European bond spreads and better conditions for making more revenues.

The heads of ABI said conditions for Italian bank revenues would improve with lighter norms and taxes, as well as cost containment. European bond spreads measure the difference between interest rates on a European Union member and a benchmark nation, usually Germany.

It is an important indicator of a country's ability to weather the euro crisis. The spread between Germany's bond rates and those of countries at the heart of the crisis, like Italy and Spain, remain unsustainably high over a prolonged period of time.

The result has been government austerity measures, recessionary pressure and a credit crunch in both countries.

ABI also called for common European banking norms to help level the competitive playing field for banks across the continent.