EU, Italy reach preliminary deal on fund for savers hit by bank rescues: Spokesman

The European Commission and Italy have reached a preliminary accord over the creation of a fund to help compensate savers hit last year by a state rescue of four small lenders, a commission spokesman said on Friday.

"There are constructive talks ongoing between the Commission and Italian authorities. We have agreed on the important parameters. It is now in the hands of Italy to implement it," the spokesman said.

Milan Stock Exchange
Giuseppe Cacace | AFP | Getty Images
Milan Stock Exchange

The Italian Treasury made no immediate comment.

Prime Minister Matteo Renzi has come under heavy pressure to compensate some 12,500 savers whose nest eggs vanished overnight when his government bailed out four banks under new EU rules that imposed losses on shareholders and some bondholders.

A government source told Reuters last week that the Treasury planned to ask private banks to help reimburse those hit by the rescue last November of Banca delle Marche, Banca Popolare dell'Etruria, Cassa di Risparmio di Ferrara and Cassa di Risparmio di Chieti.

A deposit protection fund paid for by all Italy's banks has been set up with 100 million euros ($113.65 million) but this would not be enough to cover all the losses and the government could ask for more from the banks, the source said.

Renzi has never said how much reimbursement he plans to offer, but has said on numerous occasions since last December that a proposal would be presented shortly.

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