MILAN May 11 Shareholders in UBI Banca have approved governance changes that boost the influence of institutional investors, as Italian co-operative banks seek to reform following recommendations from the Bank of Italy.
Italy's banking regulator has long urged co-operative lenders, whose shareholders have one vote each regardless of the size of their stake, to reform and become more attractive for potential investors.
At a shareholder meeting on Saturday UBI sealed a governance reform that strengthens board representation for investors that together hold at least 10 percent of its capital.
A month ago shareholders in rival Banca Popolare di Milano (BPM) unexpectedly rejected changes in by-laws also aimed at giving institutional investors a greater say.
BPM's chief executive Giuseppe Castagna said on Friday that the bank would wait until next year's shareholder meeting to attempt again to pass the changes. (Reporting by Valentina Za; Editing by Greg Mahlich)