July 26, 2016 / 1:28 PM / 3 years ago

HSBC Italy, foreign banks contacted over bank rescue fund - HSBC Italy CEO

The HSBC logo is seen at their offices at Canary Wharf financial district in London,Britain, March 3, 2016. REUTERS/Reinhard Krause

MILAN (Reuters) - The Italian unit of HSBC and other foreign banks were asked to invest in a new fund Italy is trying to set up to buy bad loans, the company’s chief executive, Marzio Perrelli, said on the sidelines of a conference in Milan.

“We were contacted, but in the context of a general sounding out of all the foreign banks,” Perrelli said.

Italy’s government is looking for ways to support struggling lenders without breaking European Union state aid rules that require investors to take a hit first, to shield taxpayers.

Reporting by Giulio Piovaccari, writing by Steve Scherer, editing by Isla Binnie

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