BERGAMO, Italy Feb 9 Troubled Italian lender
Monte dei Paschi was the only bank in the country to
have received special loans from the Bank of Italy as the euro
zone debt crisis escalated in late 2011, a senior official said
"The Bank of Italy did two loan operations in favour of
Monte dei Paschi at the peak of the crisis," Bank of Italy
director general Fabrizio Saccomanni told reporters at the
margins of a finance conference in Bergamo.
"There were no other loans of this kind in Italy."
The Bank of Italy confirmed on Thursday that it had made the
special loans to Monte Paschi, which faced severe liquidity
strains after the euro zone debt crisis in the summer of 2011.
The bank, which is dependent on state aid, has been at the
centre of a financial and political storm over a series of
derivatives and structured finance trades that have left it
facing losses of 730 million euros.
"In the operations, the Bank of Italy lent government bonds
to Monte Paschi which the bank used as collateral to borrow at
the European Central Bank refinancing operations," he said,
adding that the loans had been repaid quickly and the European
Central Bank was kept constantly informed.
(Reporting By Francesca Landini)