October 8, 2019 / 11:12 AM / 14 days ago

Italy economy min calls for consolidation in banking sector

FILE PHOTO: Italian Finance Minister Roberto Gualtieri at the Quirinale Presidential Palace in Rome, Italy September 5, 2019. REUTERS/Ciro de Luca

ROME (Reuters) - Italian banks must seek mergers to cut costs and boost profits, Economy Minister Roberto Gualtieri told a parliamentary hearing on Tuesday.

“Consolidation and improvements to (Italian banks’) efficiency and profitability must continue,” he said.

Italy’s fragmented banking sector is seen headed for a new round of consolidation among mid-tier lenders.

Gualtieri also said the government wanted to promote the creation of a bank of adequate size to support lending in southern Italy.

Reporting by Giuseppe Fonte, writing by Valentina Za

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