The top investor in Banca Carige met European Central Bank supervisors on Thursday to explain why he did not back a vital cash call at the troubled Italian lender, a source close to the matter said.
Carige on Saturday failed to win approval for a 400 million euro ($455 million) share sale that was part of a rescue plan financed by Italian lenders to shield the industry from the risk of another banking collapse.
Italy's Malacalza family holds 27.6 percent of Carige after investing more than 400 million euros to prop up the ailing Genoa-based bank. Their stake is worth less than 25 million euros at current market prices.
On Saturday the Malacalzas prevented the latest cash call from being approved saying they first wanted more clarity on the bank's future business plan and possible merger options as well as any further requests from the regulator.
The source said the Malacalzas had flown to Frankfurt and met for more than an hour with ECB officials explaining the reasons for not backing the proposed cash call.
A second source said earlier on Thursday that a meeting was due to take place by Friday at the latest and was likely to discuss the bank's prospects.
Carige's Chief Executive Fabio Innocenzi is also expected to meet ECB supervisors in person after he briefed them on the outcome of Saturday's meeting before Christmas, the second source said.
Banca Carige and the ECB declined to comment.
Carige's future depends on customers and investors' reaction to the latest setback. The bank has faced liquidity crises in the past, lastly a year ago when it almost failed to push through the previous cash call - its third in four years.
Shares in Carige lost 12.5 percent at 0.0014 euros by 1555 GMT.