Business Irish

Sunday 25 February 2018

Joint bid to save struggling Monte dei Paschi bank

Headquarters of the Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena
Headquarters of the Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena

Francesco Guarascio

The European Commission is working with Italy and the European Central Bank on a rescue plan for Italy's troubled bank Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena, spokesmen said yesterday.

The comments by spokesmen from both European institutions followed reports of an impasse.

Monte dei Paschi asked for state support last year after failing to raise €5bn on the market to shore up its capital. But that has yet to be approved by the European Commission and the ECB.

Asked whether the Commission and the ECB were clashing over the plan, a spokesman for the Commission told a news conference: "We are working with the Italian authorities and the supervisory authorities to assess the compatibility of the plans by the Italian government with EU rules."

An ECB spokesman said Frankfurt was co-operating fully but finding an agreement was a task for the Commission and the Italian government.

"Agreement on the precautionary recapitalisation is solely the responsibility of the Italian authorities and the EU Commission," the spokesman said.

"We are fully cooperating with the Commission to support their assessment."

The Commission is still waiting for the ECB to finalise its assessment of Monte Paschi's capital shortfalls before it can approve the bank's rescue plan.

Irish Independent

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