April 23, 2020 / 11:32 AM / a month ago

Intesa CEO says virus threatens mid-sized banks, consolidation inevitable-paper

MILAN, April 23 (Reuters) - The current coronavirus crisis threatens mid-sized banks such as UBI Banca and will inevitably push consolidation among lenders as well as companies, the head of Italy’s biggest retail bank Intesa Sanpaolo told an Italian daily on Thursday.

In an interview with local paper Eco di Bergamo, CEO Carlo Messina said Intesa’s takeover bid for UBI, which is rooted in Lombardy’s Bergamo province, would be beneficial for the area, one of the worst-stricken by the pandemic in Italy.

“UBI is well run but in the current tsunami a mid-sized bank risks not having the necessary scale to safely navigate stormy waters,” Messina said.

“It’s a situation that inevitably leads to further consolidation among banks, as well as companies. One must choose a navigation companion.”

Reporting by Valentina Za, editing by Giulia Segreti

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