January 22, 2015 / 6:07 PM / 3 years ago

Italy cooperative banks vow to block reform on voting rules

MILAN, Jan 22 (Reuters) - An association representing Italian cooperative or popolari banks vowed on Thursday to do everything possible to block government’s decree that aims to change their shareholder voting rules.

The government on Tuesday approved an emergency decree scrapping the one-vote-per-investor rule that gives shareholders equal voting rights regardless of the size of their stake. The decree affects Italy’s 10 biggest cooperative banks

In a statement after a meeting of the main cooperative lenders, the National Association of Popolari Banks said: “(We will leave no stone unturned to ensure that the decree falls through.”

It said the move, which comes into force immediately but must be approved by parliament within 60 days to become law, would hurt lending to households and small businesses and risked handing over ownership of the cooperative lenders to big foreign banks. (Reporting by Francesca Landini, editing by Silvia Aloisi)

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