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Some eurozone banks "in denial" about bad loans - ECB's Nouy

European Central Bank's chief supervisor Daniele Nouy. Photo: Rafael Marchante/Reuters

European Central Bank's chief supervisor Daniele Nouy. Photo: Rafael Marchante/Reuters

Some eurozone banks are "in denial" about their problems with unpaid loans, the European Central Bank's chief supervisor has told a Finnish weekly.

"In all euro area countries, there are ... banks that are not doing so well but are committed – and bravely so – to tackling their problems; and then others that are somewhat in denial and will have to change to improve," Daniele Nouy told Talouselämä in an interview published today.

Spain's Banco Popular is also struggling under the weight of €37 billion non-performing real estate loans

She was responding to questions about a request for public help by Italy’s Monte dei Paschi di Siena and apparent failures to clean up the banking sector in that country and in Germany.

Struggling with a large and growing pile of bad loans, Monte Paschi has applied for a recapitalisation by the Italian state but the rescue has yet to be approved by European authorities.

The ECB, as the eurozone's top banking watchdog, set Monte Paschi's capital shortfall at €8.8 billion in December but Nouy said earlier this week "additional discussions" about the bank's losses were necessary.

Monte Paschi's chairman Alessandro Falciai said on Wednesday he remained "greatly optimistic" over the outcome of the bank's request.

Spain's Banco Popular is also struggling under the weight of €37 billion non-performing real estate loans but the country's economy minister said on Thursday it should not expect to receive public funds.

The Spanish bank is considering a merger instead. (Reuters)

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