VICENZA, Italy, April 28 (Reuters) - An outflow of deposits that helped drive Popolare di Vicenza's direct funding down 14.4 percent last year has now stopped and there has been an improvement in the past few weeks, the chief executive of the troubled Italian bank said on Friday.
"Over the past few weeks the loss of deposits has been replaced by a slow and gradual recovery," CEO Fabrizio Viola told the lender's annual general meeting.
Viola said it was uncertain whether the bank would be granted the state bailout it has requested alongside fellow regional bank Veneto Banca to fill a 6.4 billion euro combined capital gap and embark on a merger.
The two banks need European Union approval of their restructuring plan to tap state funds and Viola said it was too early to say when the process could be concluded though the bank hoped it may be soon. (Reporting by Valentina Za)