ROME Italy is "close" to a solution for struggling lenders Popolare di Vicenza and Veneto Banca, the economy minister said on Tuesday, as the state seeks European Union approval for a plan to bail them out.
"A solution is now close" for the two regional lenders, based in the Northeast Veneto region, Economy Minister Pier Carlo Padoan said in a statement, and "talks with European institutions are encouraging."
"The solution will not involve any form of bail-in, and senior bondholders and depositors will in any case be fully guaranteed," he added.
Rome has struggled to find investors ready to put in the private capital that EU authorities are demanding to authorise a plan for the banks, weighed down by bad debts and mounting losses over the past three years.
(Reporting by Steve Scherer, editing by Giulia Segreti)