Bloomberg News

Italian Lenders Penalized by EBA Capital Rules, Guzzetti Says

October 31, 2011

Oct. 31 (Bloomberg) -- Italian banks are penalized by European Banking Authority capital requirements that reflect the interests of France and Germany, according to Giuseppe Guzzetti, head of Italy’s national banking foundations’ group.

Italian banks “are not responsible for the financial disorders” of the last few years and didn’t receive state aid like some of their peers in France and Germany, Guzzetti said today in a speech in Rome. “Now it’s those same countries -- France and Germany -- that are writing the new banking rules.”

Italy’s non-profit foundations hold stakes in the country’s biggest lenders. Guzzetti is chairman of the Cariplo banking foundation, one of the largest shareholders in Intesa Sanpaolo SpA, Italy’s second-biggest lender.

Italy’s top five lenders have to boost capital by 14.8 billion euros ($20.6 billion), the third-highest amount after Greece and Spain, to meet an EBA requirement for banks to hold 9 percent in core capital after sovereign-debt writedowns by the middle of next year. French banks require 8.8 billion euros of capital and German lenders 5.2 billion euros.

While UniCredit SpA, Italy’s biggest bank, and third-ranked Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena SpA, need 7.38 billion euros and 3.1 billion euros of additional capital respectively, Intesa doesn’t require any extra funds, according to the EBA.

The EBA requirements announced on Oct. 26 are “incomprehensible” and “would further penalize Italian banks,” UniCredit Chief Executive Officer Federico Ghizzoni said at the same event in Rome, according to Italian news agency Radiocor.

--Editors: Dylan Griffiths, Keith Campbell.

To contact the reporter on this story: Chiara Vasarri in Rome at cvasarri@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Angela Cullen at acullen8@bloomberg.net


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