The chief executive of UniCredit has told CNBC the bank will focus on "growth and profitability" after reporting a record annual net loss of 14 billion euros ($19.4 billion) for 2013, largely due to massive writedowns.
Federico Ghizzoni said the bank's surprise balance-sheet clear-out came amid efforts to put the past behind it and look forward.
Despite the loss, shares in the bank rallied over 6 percent on Tuesday as investors welcomed the move by Italy's largest lender by assets. Sentiment was also boosted by the bank's ruling out of the need for a capital increase.
(Read more: Bad loan triggers key feature in ECB bank test)