February 23, 2017 / 2:34 PM / 2 years ago

UPDATE 2-EU Commission, ECB cooperating "fully" on Monte Paschi plan

(adds background on Commission position)

BRUSSELS/FRANKFURT, Feb 23 (Reuters) - The European Commission is working with Italy and the European Central Bank on a rescue plan for Italy’s troubled bank Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena, spokesmen said on Thursday.

The comments by spokesmen from both European institutions followed press reports of an impasse.

Monte dei Paschi asked for state support last year after failing to raise 5 billion euros ($5.3 billion) on the market to shore up its capital. But that has yet to be approved by the European Commission and the ECB.

Asked whether the Commission and the ECB were clashing over the plan, a spokesman for the Commission told a news conference: “We are working with the Italian authorities and the supervisory authorities to assess the compatibility of the plans by the Italian government with EU rules.”

An ECB spokesman said Frankfurt was cooperating fully but finding an agreement was a task for the Commission and the Italian government.

“Agreement on the precautionary recapitalisation is solely the responsibility of the Italian authorities and the EU Commission,” the spokesman said. “We are fully cooperating with the Commission to support their assessment.”

The Commission is still waiting for the ECB to finalise its assessment of Monte Paschi’s capital shortfalls before it can approve the bank’s rescue plan. (Reporting by Francesco Guarascio and Francesco Canepa; Editing by Philip Blenkinsop and Tom Heneghan)

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