MILAN, Feb 12 (Reuters) - Banco Popolare is hoping to reach an agreement to merge with fellow cooperative lender Banca Popolare di Milano on the weekend of February 20-21, the bank's CEO said on Friday.
Speaking on the sidelines of a conference, Pier Francesco Saviotti said there were still a few issues to be ironed out but he added there were no problems with the European Central Bank.
Sources on Thursday said top executives from the two banks had met with regulators at the ECB and the Bank of Italy the day before to present their merger plan.
A merger between the two would be the first following banking sector reforms last year designed to spur consolidation. (Reporting by Andrea Mandala, writing by Stephen Jewkes; editing by Agnieszka Flak)