MILAN Dec 16 Italian bank Popolare di Vicenza
said on Friday the European Central Bank had asked it to improve
its liquidity position and assess all options to cut its stock
of bad loans as it readies a new business plan.
Like rival Veneto Banca, Popolare di Vicenza was taken over
by Italy's bank rescue fund Atlante earlier this year when it
failed to find buyers for an initial share issue needed to keep
it afloat. The ECB has told the two banks to study a possible
merger and present a new business plan.
Popolare di Vicenza said the ECB had reiterated the request
for an updated strategy as part of its annual supervisory
process. The ECB also wants a funding plan outlining measures to
stabilise the bank's liquidity coverage ratio - a key funding
indicator - at no less than 10 percentage points above the
Popolare di Vicenza on Friday signed an accord with unions
to cut up to 300 employees through early retirements.
(Reporting by Valentina Za)