July 18, 2018 / 10:49 AM / 10 months ago

CORRECTED-Italy will act soon to delay BCC banks reform - minister

(Corrects par. 3 to clarify that 90-day deadline would be suspended for six months not extended to six months)

MILAN, July 18 (Reuters) - Italy’s new anti-establishment government will move soon to delay a reform of small cooperative banks (BCCs), possibly as early as next week, Minister for Relations with Parliament Riccardo Fraccaro said on Wednesday.

The right-wing League party has been lobbying for a freeze of the reform approved by the previous centre-left government, which is forcing hundreds of small BCC banks to merge into larger groups in a bid to boost their financial strength.

Sources in the ruling coalition, which comprises the League and the 5-Star Movement, have told Reuters the government would soon introduce measures to suspend for six months a current 90-day deadline by which each BCC lender must agree to join one of the banking groups being formed. (Reporting by Giuseppe Fonte, writing by Valentina Za, editing by Agnieszka Flak)

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