World

Italian PM 'guarantees' savers' accounts in 2 troubled banks

Italy's premier says holders of accounts in two troubled Italian banks will have their savings guaranteed despite insolvency proceedings.

Premier Paolo Gentiloni was referring to Veneto Banca and Banca Popolare di Vicenza, each struggling with unpaid loans. The European Central Bank Friday night ruled those banks were "failing or about to fail."

In comments on Italian state radio Saturday, Gentiloni said "the guarantee regarding savers, account-holders, is a guarantee that I feel I can totally confirm."

The government was expected to quickly meet to decide about taking on the deteriorated assets, costing public coffers an estimated 8 billion-10 billion euros (nearly $9 billion-$11 billion). Italian bank Intesa Sanpaolo has said it would be willing to acquire the good assets.

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This version corrects figures from million to billion