Italy's Pop Milano cuts board size to 16

MILAN, Sept 9 (Reuters) - Italy's Banca Popolare di Milano PMII.MI approved changes to its governance structure on Tuesday, including trimming the board to 16 members from 20, the cooperative bank said.

The changes were in line with those proposed by the Bank of Italy for Pop Milano, Italy’s ninth-biggest bank by market value. They will be presented to a shareholder assembly for approval, the bank said in a statement.

Besides reducing the size of the board, the number of independent members is increased to at least four. The executive committee is reduced to a maximum seven members.

The new rules also reduce the quorum of shareholders needed to approve mergers to two-thirds. As a cooperative bank, each of its shareholders has one vote no matter how many shares they own, a rule that makes it hard for Pop Milano to pursue merger deals.

Pop Milano’s governance structure is strongly influenced by employee shareholders and the central bank had asked Pop Milano to change it. (Reporting by Ian Simpson, editing by Maureen Bavdek)