May 31, 2018 / 5:29 PM / in 19 days

Banco BPM targets bad-loan unit sale to speed up clean-up - sources

MILAN, May 31 (Reuters) - Italy’s third largest lender, Banco BPM, aims to sell part of its debt servicing unit in en effort to complete its bad-loan reduction plan this year, sources familiar with the matter said.

Soured loans are a key concern for Italian banks and Banco BPM, born last year from the merger of Popolare di Milano and Banco Popolare, lags bigger rivals in shedding problem loans.

The bank said on Thursday it had set in motion a 5 billion euro bad-loan securitisation sale and was looking to hire advisers to sell a further 3.5 billion euros to meet its 13 billion euro target.

Three sources familiar with the matter said the bank planned to sell part of its debt collection unit, with one source saying the sale process would kick off in coming weeks.

A separate source said Banco BPM’s goal was to shed the 3.5 billion euros in bad debts this year and had taken no decision yet on how to go about that. (Reporting by Cristina Carlevaro, Valentina Za and Andrea Mandala Editing by Mark Bendeich)

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