May 17, 2018 / 1:20 PM / 2 months ago

Monte dei Paschi's mission is to serve local communities-League

FLORENCE, Italy, May 17 (Reuters) - The future of state-owned bank Monte dei Paschi di Siena is to remain in public hands and keep open all the branches that serve local communities, the economic spokesman for Italy’s League said on Thursday.

Shares in the Tuscan bank, which is 68 percent owned by the state following last year’s bailout, fell 9.5 percent hurt by a draft policy programme for the new government which said the government would “redefine the bank’s mission and goals with a view to serving” the community.

Monte dei Paschi is shutting down branches to meet profit goals under a restructuring plan agreed with EU authorities to clear the bailout.

“The state is not going to sell out of Monte dei Paschi,” the League’s economic spokesman Claudio Borghi told Reuters over the phone. “Service the community means that all branches in various valleys which were very useful for Tuscan economy, which had to be shut if you were purely looking at profits, must be kept open so the bank can serve people.”

Borghi also said the new government would look to replace Monte dei Paschi CEO Marco Morelli. (Reporting by Silvia Ognibene, writing by Valentina Za, editing by Stephen Jewkes)

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