February 28, 2020 / 9:05 AM / a month ago

Italy banking lobby asks for reprieve on bad loan rules due to virus emergency

MILANO, Feb 28 (Reuters) - Italian banking association ABI said on Friday it would ask domestic and European authorities for a reprieve on soured loan rules after an outbreak of the new coronavirus in the country stoked recession risks.

The number of cases of people infected in Italy rose to 650 on Thursday, with the vast majority from Lombardy and Veneto, the economic powerhouse of the country where dozens of businesses face serious problems due to emergency measures by the government aimed at curbing contagion.

The death toll from the worst outbreak in Europe has reached 17.

ABI will seek a suspension for up to one year of a new definition of default for bank loans due to be introduced, and also for a review of the automatic provisioning mechanism for impaired loans, it said in a statement. (Reporting by Gianluca Semeraro, editing by Valentina Za)

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